Pakistan Firm, Not To Open Airspace

Pakistan has declined a request to open its airspace for commercial flights until New Delhi removes its fighter jets from forwarding IAF airbases, Pakistan’s Aviation Secretary Shah¬rukh Nusrat informed a parliamentary committee.

On February 26, Pakistan fully closed its airspace after the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) training camp in Balakot following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir.

Aviation secretary Nusrat, who is also the Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), informed the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation that his department has intimated Indian officials that Pakistani airspace would remain unavailable for use by India until the country withdraws its fighter jets from forwarding positions.

“The Indian government approached asking us to open the airspace. We conveyed our concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward,” said Nusrat.

He further informed the committee that Indian officials have contacted Pakistan requesting it to lift the airspace restrictions.

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