Jittery Pakistan denies use of its airspace to President Ram Nath Kovind’s plane


Pakistan on Saturday denied permission for the use of its airspace by President Ram Nath Kovind’s plane. President Kovind is scheduled to embark on a three-nation tour of  Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia from Monday.

Unable to muster any support from the world community over the Kashmir issue, Pakistan has resorted to amateurish tactics like denying permission to President Kovind’s plane to make use of its airspace. This was announced by Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “Given the current situation we have decided not to give the permission to India for this airspace usage,” he announced, even before the official communication to India.

Pakistani government sources say Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had himself endorsed this decision to decline use of Pakistani airspace for Indian President’s movement.

Last month, in August, Imran said he is considering shutting the airspace once again. This could result in another string of financial loses that Pakistan’s crumbling economy could ill-afford.

Pakistan’s hollow threats and empty rhetorics often lay exposed. The country had looked at cutting down trade with India over the Kashmir issue but eventually permitted the trade in life-saving medicines that it requires earnestly.