Modi uses Pakistan airspace for France visit


Pakistan on Thursday allowed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace on his way to France from New Delhi, according to reports in Indian media.

The Indian premier is on a state visit to France, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain from August 22 to August 26.

The flight carrying Modi, callsign Air India One (AI-1), used Pakistani airspace while en route to France from New Delhi.

The objective of the visit, according to the Indian premier, was to strengthen ties with the time-tested friends and help explore new areas of cooperation.

After a squadron of Indian jets had infiltrated Pakistan territory to bombard an alleged militants’ camp in Balakot following Pulwama bombing in Feb, Pakistan had shut down its airspace. The airspace remained shut for over four months, causing losses to Indian airlines, only to be reopened in July.

In June, Pakistan had decided in principle to let Modi’s aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. However, Modi decided not to use the Pakistani airspace at 11th hour.

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