Pak. asks India to pull back its fighter jets

Pakistan has told India that it will not open its airspace for commercial flights until New Delhi removes its fighter jets from forward bases, Pakistan’s Aviation Secretary Shahrukh Nusrat has informed a parliamentary committee. And for the fifth time, it extended the ban till July 26, its civil aviation authority announced on Friday. Pakistan closed its airspace on February 26 after IAF jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakot following the Pulwama terror attack. Mr. Nusrat, also Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, on Thursday told the panel: “The Indian government approached asking us to open the airspace. We conveyed our concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward,” Dawn News reported. This is probably the first time a senior Pakistani official has publicly stated Islamabad’s precondition for reopening its airspace.

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