New Delhi: India’s aviation regulator DGCA allowed use of Indian airspace to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s flight during his recent visit to Pakistan, official sources said on Tuesday, terming reports of denial of permission “false and motivated”.
There were media reports in Pakistan that India denied permission to the plane carrying the Malaysian prime minister to fly over it when he was on his way to Islamabad to attend Pakistan’s national day celebrations on March 23.
Sources said the “truth” was that Pakistan has blocked its own airspace for flights overflying India. Therefore, even though DGCA had given overflight clearance, the Malaysian PM’s flight had to take a longer route due to restrictions on Pakistani airspace, they said.
The reports that India denied permission to Mohamad’s flight are “false and motivated”, the sources said.
Pakistani airspace remained partially shut after India carried out a strike on a terrorist training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26, they added.
Pakistan retaliated by unsuccessfully targeting several military installations next day.
“It is strange that even for their national day guest from Malaysia, Pakistan could not make an exception, thereby resulting in a longer flight carrying the Malaysian PM,” said a source.
The Malaysian PM visited Pakistan from March 21-23. He was the guest of honour at the Pakistan Day parade on March 23.