New Delhi: On Wednesday, the Indian government decided that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight to Bishkek, were he’ll be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, will not flyover the Pakistani airspace. Instead, the flight will go via Oman.

“The Government of India had explored two options for the route to be taken by the VVIP aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to Bishkek,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Modi, both land in Bishkek on Thursday. 

Prior to his departure, Modi said, “we attach special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region.” He will attend a couple of bilateral meetings, including one with Chinese President Xi Jinping, before the inaugural banquet hosted by Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and a cultural programme.

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“The summit is expected to discuss the global security situation, multilateral economic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and topical issues of international and regional importance. On the sidelines of the summit, I also plan to meet several leaders bilaterally,” he added.

The SCO was founded in 2001 by China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 2017, India and Pakistan became full members of the SCO. In 2017, India and Pakistan became full members of the SCO.