Pakistan has charged India Rs 2.86 lakh as route navigation costs for an Indian Air Force aircraft that Prime Minister Narendra Modi used during a stopover in Lahore in December 2015, and for using Pakistani airspace during visits to Russia, Afghanistan, Iran and Qatar, PTI reported.
The Lahore visit was talked about because of a photograph of Prime Minister Modi hugging his then Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Modi had visited Lahore to wish the former Pakistan prime minister on his birthday, before ties between the two countries deteriorated when an Army base in Pathankot was attacked in January 2016.
Commodore (retired) Lokesh Batra filed Right to Information queries and gathered the information about navigation costs incurred when Modi used Air Force aircraft for overseas visits. Till June 2016, Indian Air Force aircraft were used for the prime minister’s visits to 11 countries – Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Qatar, Australia, Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Fiji and Singapore.
The Pakistan government charged Rs 1.49 lakh for the Lahore stopover. It also billed Rs 77,215 as route navigation fee when Modi used an Air Force aircraft to visit Iran between May 22 and 23, 2016, and Rs 59,215 when he visited Qatar from June 4 to 6, 2016.
The government spent Rs 2 crore on Air Force aircraft during the prime minister’s overseas visits between 2014 and 2016.