Tit for tat: If Pakistan closes airspace, India should block way to Karachi port, says Subramanian Swamy

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Published: August 28, 2019 8:22 PM

The tension between the two countries is at its peak since the curtailment of special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

Swamy's remark comes following the news of Pakistan's threat of airspace closure and a complete ban on land routes for Indo- Afghan trade. (File photo)Swamy’s remark comes following the news of Pakistan’s threat of airspace closure and a complete ban on land routes for Indo- Afghan trade. (File photo)

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday advised the Modi government to block ships going through the Arabian sea towards Karachi port if Pakistan decides to close its airspace for Indian aircraft. Swamy’s remark comes following the news of Pakistan’s threat of airspace closure and a complete ban on land routes for Indo- Afghan trade.

“My advice to Namo Govt: If Pak closes their airspace for our commercial and civil aircraft, India should close Karachi port by blocking ships going through the Arabian Sea (which needs to be renamed) to Karachi port,” Swamy said in a tweet.

Pakistani Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Hussain had earlier said that the proposal to close the airspace was under consideration by Prime Minister Imran Khan-led cabinet.

“PM is considering a complete closure of Air Space to India, a complete ban on the use of Pakistan Land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was also suggested in the cabinet meeting, legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration… #Modi has started we ll finish!” Hussain said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that no such decision (closure of air space for India) was taken. However, Pakistan’s civil aviation authorities have claimed that the three aviation routes of Karachi airspace will remain closed from August 28, 2019, to August 31. This step would affect all the international flights that used to fly through these routes.

The tension between the two countries is at its peak since the curtailment of special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. The Centre also bifurcated the state into two union territories- Jammu and Kashmir (Union territory with a legislature) and Ladakh (Union territory without a legislature).

Pakistan had also expelled the Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad and downgraded the diplomatic relations with India. Apart from this, the neighbouring country also suspended its trade with India and announced closure of train and bus services too.

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