Indian authority allowed Imran Khan Pakistan’s (FATF grey-listed country) Prime Minister to use the Indian Airspace for his maiden visit to Sri Lanka on the 23rd of February 2021. His airplane flew over the Lakshadweep Islands to reach Sri Lanka.
India made its decision in contrast to Pakistan’s decision not to allow its airspace for Prime Minister Modi’s visit to US and President Kovind’s visit to Europe. Earlier in 2019, Pakistan had declined India’s request to use its airspace in protest after India revoked article 370 and 35A and made Kashmir a UT of India.
India took up this matter with the UN’s aviation body ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), for not following the international airspace norms. The institution later asked clarification from Pakistan for its unlawful act.
This is the first time after 2016 any Prime Minister visiting Sri Lanka. Imran Khan was supposed to give a speech in Sri Lankan Parliament, which was later canceled by the Sri Lankan side. They canceled Imran Khan’s speech because he might raise the Kashmir issue, and the Lankans didn’t want to upset India again. Earlier this year, Sri Lanka had scrapped the East Container Terminal Project with India.
On his two-day visit to Sri Lanka, Imran Khan announced a soft loan of 15 million dollars, which was a shock to everyone. This shock came as Pakistan is already on the FATF grey list and has taken billions of debt from IMF and other countries. The State Bank of Pakistan released a figure stating when a child is born in Pakistan, he is in debt by 1.5 lakh rupees approximately.