Pak closes its airspace on 3 routes for 3 days

    APP64-13 ISLAMABAD: September 13 – Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain briefs the media about cabinet meeting during a press conference at PID Media Centre. APP photo by Irfan Mahmood

    The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday closed three routes for all international Karachi-bound flights, a day after the country’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan was mulling “complete closure” of its airspace for traffic from India.

    The Aviation Authority on Wednesday issued a Notice to Airmen notifying the changes. The notice said all Karachi-bound flights will have to abide by the modifications from August 28 to August 31.

    Earlier, the minister had tweeted: “A complete ban on the use of Pakistan’s land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was suggested in the Cabinet meeting.” Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had objected to the use of Pakistan’s airspace by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    PM Modi used Pakistan’s airspace to travel to France on August 22. He was given permission to use Pakistani airspace because there was no ban in place, the Cabinet was told on Tuesday.

    Pakistan had closed its airspace after the Balakot strike by the Indian Air Force on February 26. The airspace was completely opened on July 16, five months after tensions escalated in February following the Pulwama terror strike in which 40 Indian security personnel were killed in a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attack.