Sunday March 18, 2018 03:36 PM

Pakistan charges Modi Rs286,000 for using its airspace on foreign visits

Pakistan charges Modi Rs286,000 for using its airspace on foreign visits
In this photograph released by the Pakistan Information Department (PID) on December 25, 2015, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi walk through a guard of honour in Lahore. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, weeks after the nuclear-armed rivals decided to restart high-level peace talksAFP

Islamabad also charged the government for route navigation when the aircraft used Pakistani airspace during Modi’s trips to Russia, Afghanistan, Iran and Qatar

Pakistan has charged India Rs286,000 as route navigation costs for an Indian Air Force aircraft that Prime Minister Narendra Modi used during a stopover in Lahore in December 2015, and for using Pakistani airspace during visits to Russia, Afghanistan, Iran and Qatar, Times of India reported.

The Lahore visit was talked about because of a photograph of Modi hugging his then Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Modi had visited Lahore to wish the former Pakistan prime minister on his birthday, before ties between the two countries deteriorated when an Army base in Pathankot was attacked in January 2016.

Former Indian army officer Lokesh Batra filed Right to Information queries and gathered the information about navigation costs incurred when Modi used Air Force aircraft for overseas visits. Till June 2016, Indian Air Force aircraft were used for the prime minister’s visits to 11 countries – Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Qatar, Australia, Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Fiji and Singapore.

The Pakistan government charged Rs149,000 for the Lahore stopover. It also billed Rs77,215 as route navigation fee when Modi used an Air Force aircraft to visit Iran between May 22 and 23, 2016, and Rs59,215 when he visited Qatar from June 4 to 6, 2016.

According to the data collected, a total of about Rs200 million has been spent on foreign visits of Modi during the period for the use of Air Force aircraft.


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