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Pakistani airspace used by Modi’s flight to the US: Know the reason here…

On Wednesday, the non-stop flight by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US flew over Pakistani airspace to avoid Afghanistan. Narendra Modi is on a three-day visit to the United States where he will address the UN General Assembly, attend the Quad Summit and hold a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and other officials are accompanying PM Modi to the US as part of a high-level delegation. According to government sources, India had requested permission from Pakistan for the use of Pakistani airspace for Prime Minister Modi’s flight to the US, for which Islamabad granted permission. ANI reports that ‘Pakistan has allowed India to use its airspace’.

Notably, Pakistan had earlier rebuffed the appeal of President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi to use Pakistan’s airspace thrice to fly to foreign countries in 2019 after India repealed Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, Pakistan had denied permission for PM Modi to visit the US and Germany, and for president Kovind to visit Iceland. ‘We have decided not to grant permission to the Indian prime minister due to the situation in (Jammu and) Kashmir and India’s attitude, oppression, and barbarity, as well as abuses in the region’, the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement in 2019.

In response, India officially complained to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about the denial. India had allowed Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to use its airspace to visit Sri Lanka this year. PM Modi and members of the Indian delegation took off on Wednesday morning from the Indian Air Force (IAF) Technical Airbase in Delhi. Air India One (AI1), India’s VVIP Boeing aircraft, made its first long-haul direct flight to the US. The Boeing B-777 Extra Range (ER300) aircraft, which was recently modified for Indian VVIP guests, is also equipped with advanced defence systems.

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It will take the B-777 15 hours of non-stop flight to get to the US. In order to avoid Afghanistan’s airspace, the flight will fly extra hours for the US trip. The VVIP plane will avoid Afghanistan airspace, which has been closed to commercial traffic. Following the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan on August 16, the new regime announced that the country’s air space would be closed. In light of Afghanistan’s precarious security situation, the Indian government has advised its airlines to avoid its airspace.


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