India allows Imran Khan’s aircraft to use its airspace for Sri Lanka tour

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The Indian government has allowed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aircraft to use its airspace for his visit to Sri Lanka, Indian media reported.

Premier Imran Khan is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka later today (February 23) for a two-day official visit.

In 2019, Pakistan had denied opening its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flights to the US and Saudi Arabia citing alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, Hindustan Times said.

India has taken up the denial of permission to VVIP flight with an International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Under normal circumstances, the VVIP aircraft are granted permission by countries. However, Pakistan’s denial of permission to VVIP aircraft was an aberration, foreign media reports said further.

Imran Khan is the first head of state to visit the island nation since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He is expected to hold bilateral discussions with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena during the visit.

PM Imran Khan in his maiden official visit this year outside the country will be accompanied by a high-powered business and investment delegation that will consist of business leaders in Pakistan, mainly from the sectors of textile and apparel, pharmaceuticals, agro-food commodities, sports goods, gems and jewellery, auto parts, ICT, construction material and surgical equipment.

He will be accompanied by Pakistan Minister of Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Secretary Foreign Affairs Sohail Mehmood and senior officials of the Pakistan Government.