PM Narendra Modi uses Pakistan airspace en route to US

The permission came late from Pakistan authorities for PM Modi's plane to fly over its airspace.

PM Narendra Modi uses Pakistan airspace en route to US

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plane en route to the United States flew over the Pakistan airspace on Wednesday after the neighbouring country gave permission for the aircraft, according to sources.

There was no official confirmation from the government on whether the prime minister's aircraft flew over the Pakistan airspace, but sources confirmed that the route included Pakistan airspace.

According to flight-tracking website Flightradar24, the plane -- Boeing 777-337 (ER) -- took off from the national capital at a little past 11.40 am and the route shows it flying over Pakistan and Iran, among other countries.

The sources said the permission came late from Pakistan authorities for the prime minister's plane to fly over its airspace. In case, permission was not given, there was an alternative plan for the prime minister and his entourage to make a stop at Frankfurt and then proceed to the US, they added.

In October 2019, Pakistan had denied India's request to use its airspace for Modi's flight to Saudi Arabia. The same year in September also, Pakistan had denied overflight clearance for the prime minister's aircraft.

Modi emplaned for the US on Wednesday morning. His office tweeted a picture of him just before boarding the plane for the US where he will take part in a wide range of programmes.

In a statement just before leaving for the US, Modi said he will conclude his visit with an address at the United Nations General Assembly focusing on the pressing global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues. 

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