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Pakistan denies President Kovind permission to enter airspace


Islamabad, Sep 07: Amid escalating tensions, Pakistan on Saturday denied President Ram Nath Kovind permission to fly through its airspace access to which is usually granted due to New Delhi's recent "behaviour".

"The decision has been taken in view of India's behaviour," Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a statement.

President Ram Nath Kovind

The decision comes at a time of high tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

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    Kovind will embark on a visit to Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia from Monday during which he is expected to brief the top leadership in those countries on India's "national concerns", especially in view of terror incidents this year, including the Pulwama attack.

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    The decision was approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the tense situation in Kashmir, the minister told state broadcaster PTV.

    Pakistan fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

    However, in March, it partially opened its airspace but kept its ban for the Indian flights.

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