Dubai: No final decision has been taken yet on the complete closure of Pakistani airspace to India, said Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
He said the matter would be decided after consultation, according to Pakistani news channel Dunya Tv.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) closed three aviation routes in the Karachi airspace from August 28 to 31, according to a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). However, the CAA did not give reasons behind the partial closure.
The decision comes a day after Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the prime minister was considering a “complete closure” of airspace to India.
The ban will affect all international flights travelling by three routes above Karachi. The upcoming four-day ban will expire on September 1.
Meanwhile, Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has also suggested a complete ban on Indian trade with Afghanistan through Pakistani land routes. He said that Imran discussed the issue in the federal cabinet meeting held on Tuesday in Islamabad.
“PM [Imran] is considering a complete closure of Air Space to India, a complete ban on use of Pakistan Land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was also suggested in cabinet meeting,” Fawad wrote on his twitter handle after attending the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday.
“Legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration... #Modi has started we’ll finish!” he wrote. The moves comes as part of Pakistan’s reaction to the Indian prime minister’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special autonomy earlier this month.
Earlier, Pakistan had partially closed its airspace on August 8 amid growing tensions with India over the abrogation of Article 370.
The outspoken minister’s latest tweet comes a day after Imran addressed the nation, speaking about the government’s strategy regarding Indian-administered Kashmir, vowing that Pakistan “will go to any lengths” to support the cause of the oppressed Kashmiri people.
On Tuesday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan told a press conference that the prime minister during the cabinet meeting reiterated Pakistan’s support for Kashmiris.
Recent airsapce closure
On August 5, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped Kashmiris of the constitutional rights they had for seven decades through a presidential order. An indefinite curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir and elected leaders were put under house arrest.
By repealing Article 370 of the Indian constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in Kashmir and settle there permanently. Kashmiris as well as critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also president of the BJP, moved a bill — passed by the Indian parliament — to bifurcate the state into two union territories to be directly ruled by New Delhi.
Pakistan angrily slammed the decision, expelling India’s ambassador, suspending bilateral trade, and taking the matter to the United Nations Security Council.