India’s complaint against Pakistan’s refusal to allow the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi access to its airspace has been rejected by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), on Tuesday.
Media reports reveal that the global aviation body stated that flights carrying national leaders are regarded as “state aircraft” and cannot be subjected to the provisions of the ICAO.
Pakistani Airspace Denied to Modi
New Delhi had requested for Islamabad’s permission to use the Pakistani airspace on October 28 for the flight of the Indian Prime Minister, who is currently visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to participate in an international business summit.
Pakistan says it refused India's PM Modi's request to fly through its airspace due to "ongoing grave human rights violations" in Indian-administered Kashmir https://t.co/jBPDiEvAkA pic.twitter.com/74ZUz1ka4b
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 27, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, on Sunday, revealed that Islamabad had dismissed India’s request to use the Pakistani airspace for Narendra Modi’s flight to Riyadh. The Foreign Minister said that the decision was taken in the light of Black Day, and the ongoing “human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.
India media reported that in response to New Delhi’s complaints, the ICAO spokesperson said, “The Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), which ICAO helps governments to cooperate under, only applies to the operations of civilian aircraft and not to state or military aircraft.”
“Flights carrying national leaders are considered “state aircraft" and are not subject to its provisions, the International Civil Aviation Organisation said, in response to India's complaint against Pakistan for refusing to let the PM’s plane to use its airspace to Saudi Arabia” https://t.co/QppDJLusAP
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) October 29, 2019
The ICAO spokesperson added, “Flights carrying national leaders are considered state aircraft, and are therefore not subject to ICAO provisions.”
This is not the first instance where Islamabad has rejected New Delhi’s request to provide airspace access for a flight carrying the Indian Prime Minister Modi. In September, the Imran Khan-led government had rejected India’s request for access to Pakistani airspace for Modi’s flight to Germany.
Analysts and opinion-makers believe that the Narendra Modi-led government is putting India in an embarrassing position with its repetitive demands to use the Pakistani airspace, and now, by approaching the global aviation body without understanding the rules and regulations that apply on the situation at hand.
Pakistan denied use of its airspace for PM #Modi's plane once again.
India complained to ICAO, which refused to help
The BJP govt has put India in an embarrassing position because Modiji is unwilling to fly the same route as every other Indian citizen!https://t.co/gQ8hNb516A
— Dr. Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) October 29, 2019
Many are wondering why the Indian Prime Minister is so keen on flying through the Pakistani airspace, despite India’s gross ceasefire violations targeting and martyring innocent civilians, and the heightened antagonism between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Wonder why the govt is so keen that the PM should fly via Pakistan. Had this request come from any Oppn party, our comic channels would have gone beserk questioning the Oppn. https://t.co/9dOsIzi1qx
— Maneesh Chhibber (@maneeshchhibber) October 29, 2019
The request has arrived during a period of heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours, in the aftermath of the Modi-led government’s unilateral and unlawful decision to revoke Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which provided special privileges and partial autonomy to the Muslim-majority state of Indian occupied Kashmir.
For over three months, the people of occupied Kashmir are suffering under an unprecedented communications blackout, curfew and security lockdown, with gross restrictions on movement imposed across the valley since August.