Airspace closure and approaching ICJ still undecided; says Pak spokesman

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on Thursday said that Pakistan could exercise the closure of its airspace for India at a time of its choosing, but so far, no decision has been taken on the matter.

While addressing a weekly press briefing, Dr Faisal said that the issue had been discussed at the highest level. “It is one of the many options that are being considered, we can exercise it at a time of our choosing. No decision has been taken as yet,” he said.

The FO spokesperson’s comments come a day after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi shared the same regarding closure of Pakistan’s airspace.

Talking to reporters, Qureshi had dismissed reports suggesting that the airspace was being shut for India as “speculative”.”A decision to this effect will be taken after due consideration and looking into each and every aspect of the move through consultation,” he had said, adding Prime Minister Imran Khan would have the final word.

The subject of airspace closure was first broached by Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, who announced on Tuesday that the federal cabinet was considering restoration of a complete ban on the use of Pakistani airspace for Indian flights.

In response to a question regarding Pakistan’s decision to take the Kashmir dispute with India to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the FO spokesperson said that consultations were underway with all stakeholders, adding that it was a “very delicate issue”. He said that no final decision had been taken as yet.

Kartarpur corridor

Dr Faisal said that a technical meeting on the Kartarpur corridor is set to take place at Zero Point tomorrow.”India concurred to Pakistan’s proposal and the technical meeting on Kartarpur Sahib corridor is being held on August 30 at Zero Point.”

“Pakistan remains committed to completing and inaugurating the Kartarpur Sahib corridor as announced by our prime minister,” he added.