India on Thursday rejected allegations by Pakistan of being denied overflight clearance, something Islamabad claimed was in violation of a 1991 agreement on prevention of air space violations and for permitting overflights and landing by military aircraft.
“Yes, we are aware of what Pakistan has claimed, but we categorically reject these allegations. Let me state the facts,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here. .
“As per Appendix A to the 1991 Agreement, essential information concerning the nature of cargo and passengers is required in respect of military aircraft. Requests from the Government of Pakistan were received in a couple of cases without this essential information. Despite several reminders, including in a meeting between Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner and Joint Secretary (PAI) in New Delhi on November 9, Pakistan did not provide the information.”
“Our expectation is that Pakistan will respect the requirements mutually agreed in bilateral agreements,” he said.
“Incidentally, in another recent case, when Pakistan had provided all necessary information for Gulfstream aircraft of Pakistan Air Force proposing to carry a VIP delegation from Lahore to Colombo and back to Lahore the over flight permission was provided expeditiously,” added Swarup.
As reports of Pakistan forming a special group to expose Indian “atrocities” in Kashmir, Swarup said Islamabad’s efforts have not gathered any traction on the international stage, and thus, it would be well advised to focus its energies on stemming the rot of terrorism instead of expending its breath in making baseless allegations.
Reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz’s statement of Islamabad intending to woo Indians opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swarup said he (Aziz) would be well advised to rather woo Pakistanis to end their Government’s policy of state sponsorship of terrorism.