Highlights:

  • For the first time, after India’s abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, Pakistan allowed PM Modi’s flight to use its airspace
  • India had sought permission from Pakistan regarding the usage of the country’s airspace for PM Modi’s flight to the US
  • The Prime Minister will address the United Nations General Assembly concentrating on the global challenges

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Washington, where he is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly. For the first time, after India’s abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, Pakistan allowed PM Modi’s flight to use its airspace, as informed by a top government source. Earlier, the neighboring country denied permission to President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi.

A high-level delegation consisting of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and other top government officials are accompanying PM Modi to the US. According to sources familiar with the developments, India had sought permission from Pakistan regarding the usage of the country’s airspace for PM Modi’s flight to the US. The nod comes after India allowed Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s flight to use India’s airspace when he was traveling to Sri Lanka.

In 2019, Pakistan issued a statement denying PM Modi’s flight to use its airspace, citing, “in view of the situation in (Jammu and) Kashmir and India’s attitude, oppression, barbarity and violation of rights in the region.” The Pakistan foreign ministry added, “We have decided not to give permission to the Indian Prime Minister and we have conveyed this decision to the Indian High Commission.”

Following the denial, India initiated a protest against Pakistan with the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Later, PM Modi’s plane also determined to avoid Afghanistan’s airspace as the country had closed its airspace for any commercial use.

Before leaving for the US, the Prime Minister voiced, “I will be visiting the USA From 22-25 September 2021 at the invitation of His Excellency President Joe Biden of the United States of America. During my visit, I will review the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with President Biden and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.”

The Prime Minister will address the United Nations General Assembly concentrating on the global challenges that include the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change, and various other important issues.

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