Pakistan is considering a complete ban on the use of its airspace for Indian flights, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said on Tuesday. He said it was also suggested during a Cabinet meeting that there be a blanket ban on the use of Pakistani land routes for India-Afghanistan trade.
“Modi has started we’ll finish!” Chaudhry tweeted in reference to India’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status earlier this month. He said “legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration”.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated ever since New Delhi’s August 5 announcement that Jammu and Kashmir’s special status would be revoked. Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India for Kashmir since Independence, has not taken this move well.
New Delhi’s actions on Jammu and Kashmir were swiftly condemned by Islamabad, which downgraded diplomatic ties and ended bilateral trade. Since then, Pakistan has raised the Kashmir matter at the United Nations Security Council, and has talked of raising it at the UN Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice as well.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that he will raise the Kashmir dispute at every international platform, including the United Nations General Assembly. He added that the Narendra Modi-led administration had made a “historic blunder” by taking away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Pakistan had closed its airspace to Indian flights following the Balakot strikes by the Indian Air Force on February 26. Islamabad had incurred a loss of 8.5 billion Pakistani rupees because of the decision. While India had lifted the ban on Pakistani civilian jets using its airspace on May 31, Pakistan lifted its ban only on July 16.
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