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Aviation body rejects India's complaint against Pakistan for denying Modi use of airspace: report

Aviation body rejects India's complaint against Pakistan for denying Modi use of airspace: report

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has rejected India's complaint against Pakistan's refusal to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace, First Post reported on Tuesday.

According to the media outlet, the ICAO said flights carrying national leaders are considered "state aircraft" and are not subject to the body's provisions.

Indian government had sought Pakistan's permission to use the country's airspace on October 28 for the Indian premier, who is visiting Saudi Arabia to participate in an international business conference.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday announced that Islamabad had denied New Delhi's request.

Qureshi, in a statement, had said that the decision was taken in context of Black Day and "in view of the continued gross human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir".

In response to India's complaint, First Post quoted the ICAO spokesperson as saying: "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 therefore not subject to ICAO provisions," the spokesperson added.

This was not the first time Pakistan denied India's request to use its airspace. The government in September had also denied India's request for Modi to use Pakistani airspace for his flight to Germany.

The request came at a time of high tension between Pakistan and India following the Indian government's decision to unilaterally revoke Article 370 of its constitution, which granted special autonomy to occupied Kashmir. A communications blackout and heavy restrictions on movement imposed by the Indian authorities from the eve of this development have been in place nearly three months now.

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