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India PM Modi’s flight to summit will detour around Pakistani airspace, despite Islamabad’s consent

India PM Modi’s flight to summit will detour around Pakistani airspace, despite Islamabad’s consent
Indian authorities say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight to Kyrgyzstan will go around Pakistan, crossing over Oman, Iran and Central Asia instead, despite being granted permission by Islamabad to use its airspace.

While Pakistan had already approved “in principle” a shorter flight path for the official plane to pass over its territory, India withdrew its request on Wednesday, announcing that it had decided to go with its plan B.

The Government of India had explored two options for the route to be taken by the VVIP Aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP Aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to Bishkek,” a statement by a government spokesman explained.

Modi is headed to Kyrgyzstan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, where major leaders from across Eurasia (including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jingping) will gather on Thursday for two-days to discuss political, economic and security issues of mutual interest. Both Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan will be in attendance.

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Pakistan fully closed its airspace to Indian aircraft after the Indian Air Force (IAF) launched a strike in February against what New Delhi said were terrorist training facilities operating on Pakistani territory. While the initial incident almost led to war between the nuclear-armed neighbors, Islamabad has recently opened a couple of airways on the border as things quietened down.

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