India rejects Pakistan allegations on overflight rights

vikas swarup

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS)

India on Thursday rejected allegations by Pakistan of being denied overflight clearance, something Islamabad claimed was in violation of a 1991 agreement on prevention of air space violations and for permitting overflights and landing by military aircraft.

“Yes, we are aware of what Pakistan has claimed but we categorically reject these allegations,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.

Giving the facts, Swarup said that according to Appendix A to the 1991 agreement, essential information concerning the nature of cargo and passengers was required in respect of military aircraft.

“Requests from the government of Pakistan were received in a couple of cases without this essential information,” he stated.

“Despite several reminders, including in a meeting between Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner and Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) in New Delhi on November 9, 2016, Pakistan did not provide the information. Our expectation is that Pakistan will respect the requirements mutually agreed in bilateral agreements.”

However, the spokesperson also added that in another recent case, when Pakistan had provided all necessary information for a Gulfstream aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force proposing to carry a VIP delegation from Lahore to Colombo and back to Lahore, the overflight permission was provided expeditiously.

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