New Delhi (Sputnik): India has dismissed media reports that it denied Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad the right to use Indian airspace while flying to Pakistan during his recent trip.
"The truth is that Pakistan has blocked its own airspace from flights which are overflying India. Therefore, even though Indian civil aviation regulator DGCA had given overflight clearance to Malaysian Prime Minister's flight, it had to take a longer route because Pakistan denied permission", a government source said in New Delhi.
On Tuesday, Pakistani media outlet The News had reported that India had withdrawn overflying permission at the last minute, forcing the Malaysian premier to take a much longer route over the Arabian Sea and cruise as far as Oman before returning to Islamabad.
"It is strange that even for their national day guest from Malaysia, Pakistan could not make an exception thereby resulting in a longer flight by Malaysia PM", the Indian official said contradicting the claim.
Mahathir's three-day official visit to Pakistan began on 21 March. He was invited as special guest to Pakistan National Day celebrations on 23 March. During his visit, the countries reportedly inked five memoranda of understanding in the areas of telecommunication, information technology, and power generation, while also bolstering cooperation across the agriculture, banking, and energy sectors.