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Wednesday, 28 August, 2019, 11 : 00 AM [IST]

Pakistan considering closure of its airspace & land routes for India

In a fresh round of diplomatic offensive against India, Pakistan is again considering closure of its airspace for Indian flights, reports The Indian Express. “PM is considering a complete closure of airspace to India, a complete ban on use of Pakistan land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was also suggested in cabinet meeting, legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration,” Pakistan’s Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry tweeted after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Chaudhry is a close aide of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Modi has started we’ll finish!” he tweeted, referring to the Narendra Modi government’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status.

This comes a day after Prime Minister Modi, during his meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in France, categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
Pakistan had closed its airspace on February 26 in retaliation to the Pulwama attack on February 14. It opened its airspace for all civilian traffic on July 16, after more than four-and-a-half months.

Air India operates around 50 flights daily through Pakistani airspace — to the US, Europe and the Middle East.

In July, the government said that the country’s airlines suffered losses worth Rs 548 crore due to closure of Pakistan’s airspace. In a written response to a question in Rajya Sabha in July, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri said that Air India lost INR 491 crore till July 2, while IndiGo suffered a loss of INR 25.1 crore till May 31. SpiceJet and GoAir lost INR 30.73 crore and INR 2.1 crore respectively till June 20. (Source: The Indian Express)

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