Lahore: Pakistan on Wednesday decided not to lift its airspace ban for Indian flights till May 30, as Islamabad is awaiting the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls in India.
Pakistan fully closed its airspace after an Indian Air Force strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Balakot on February 26. However, Pakistan opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on March 27.
“The top officials of defence and aviation ministries held a meeting on Wednesday to reconsider opening its airspace for Indian flights. They decided that Pakistan’s airspace will remain banned for the Indian flights till May 30,” a senior government official told PTI after the meeting.
He said the Civil Aviation Authority has also notified the decision to the airmen. The authority issued a notification to airmen (Notam) after the meeting to pilots, advising them of circumstances relating to the state of flying.
The official said the government will now consider lifting of the ban on Pakistan’s airspace for Indian flights on May 30.
Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry early this week said that the status quo will remain till the conclusion of elections in India.
“Status quo will remain till the elections are over in India. I don’t see any improvement in relations between Pakistan and India till the elections are over and a new government is installed. The ban on airspace by each other I think will also continue till Indian polls,” Chaudhry told a news agency.