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India permits Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s aircraft to use airspace for Sri Lanka trip, says report

The government has allowed Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s aircraft to use its airspace for his trip to Sri Lanka, ANI reported.

Imran Khan will be travelling to Sri Lanka on his maiden visit on February 23.

In 2019, Pakistan had denied permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace for his US and Saudi Arabia visits citing lleged human rights violations in Kashmir.

India took up the denial of permission to VVIP flight with an International Civil Aviation Organisation. Under normal circumstances, VVIP aircrafts are granted permission by countries. However, Pakistan’s denial of permission to VVIP aircraft was an aberration. 

Sri Lanka had earlier reportedly cancelled Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s planned address to the country’s Parliament during his visit to Colombo.

Imran Khan will be the first head of state to visit Sri Lanka since the coronavirus pandemic. He is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena during the visit.

Also Read: Government expert panel says Covid cases likely to drop to low tens of thousands by March end

It is said that the speech to Parliament had been included in Khan’s itinerary at the Pakistan government’s request. However, it was later cancelled and Sri Lankan media gave various reasons for the cancellation of Khan’s address, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday.

The address was scheduled for February 24.

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