Pak protests alleged airspace violation

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 20 2008, 04:38am hrs
Pakistan has conveyed its protest to India over the alleged violation of its airspace by Indian fighter planes. The Pakistan foreign office summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to convey concerns over the technical and air space violations by Indian aircraft on Dec 12 and 13.

According to the official spokesman of the ministry of external affairs, Vishnu Prakash, On Thursday morning the Pakistani foreign office handed to our mission in Islamabad a note alleging air pace violations by Indian aircraft five days ago. These same allegations were first reported in the Pakistani and international media for several days and are a part of Pakistani disinformation campaign.

It had been made clear by the government, when we saw the reports that no violations of Pakistani air space by Indian aircraft have taken place. This was also conveyed to the Pakistani side when the Pak DGMO raised it verbally with our DGMO on the evening of 16th December 2008, three days after the alleged violations. And, the Note Verbale given by the Pakistani foreign office will be examined and responded to appropriately by the government, he added.

Pakistan handed over a diplomatic note to the Indian envoy saying the incident was not in conformity with the 1991 bilateral agreement on Prevention of Air Space Violations, a statement from the Pakistan foreign office said.

It is being reported that the Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is likely to request Afghan President Hamid Karzai to close down Indian consulate offices near the Pakistan-Afghan border as they were creating problems for Islamabad.

In a complete U-turn, Zardari has said that he had asked India to co-operate in the investigation into the Mumbai terror attacks and he would not leap to judgements while the investigation was continuing.

He said western intelligence agencies had not offered firm evidence to justify claims that the attacks were orchestrated from Pakistani soil. He is reported to have said that claims that the sole surviving attacker had been identified by his own father as coming from Pakistan had not been proven.