Pakistan Denies Reports Of U.S. Aircraft Entering Its Airspace

Pakistan Denies Reports Of U.S. Aircraft Entering Its Airspace
A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 97th Air Mobility Wing is seen out the windshield of the second C-17 in a formation of three. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

According to Pakistani media, Sources On November 20th a U.S. military aircraft was reportedly intercepted while attempting to enter Pakistani airspace, although the nature of the interception remains uncertain with American sources having yet to comment.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan on November 21, denied reports that any US military aircraft entered Pakistan airspace.

“Relevant departments have informed me that no aircraft entered Pakistan’s limits. In our record, no airplane has crossed our airspace,” said the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson Ismail Khoso, the Daily Times reported.

On Wednesday, ARY news reported that an aircraft from Muscat was heading towards Karachi. The pilot was asked about the permission and the code to which he didn’t answer. The air traffic controller warned the aircraft after which it moved out of its territory.

The Aviation Division Senior Joint Secretary and spokesperson Abdul Sattar Khokhar said Muscat authorities informed Pakistan on November 18 at 9:15 am that an aircraft was flying towards Pakistan airspace.

“However, the plane did not enter our airspace and remained in international airspace. The authorities contacted the airplane for identification, but it did not respond either,” he added.

Khosa said there are air spaces of other countries besides Pakistan about which the CAA could not say anything. We must have noticed any aircraft if it had entered Pakistan’s limits, he added.

Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have markedly cooled in recent years, while Islamabad has improved ties to neighboring Tehran, Moscow and particularly Beijing.

Conflict over the nature of American involvement in Afghanistan and the suspension of American military aid to Pakistan have been key sources of tension.

Pakistan has notably increased its deployments of advanced fighter aircraft near the Afghan border in the past to draw a hard line against potential U.S. intrusions into its airspace, and major policy disagreements were evident during recent meetings between the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and U.S. President Donald Trump particularly in relation to Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s shift away from the Western Bloc has been closely reflected in the composition of its inventory, with Western hardware formerly central to the country’s defence from Mirage III and F-16 fighters to Agosta Class submarines and Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates being eclipsed by newer Chinese platforms including JF-17 Block II fighters, Type 039B Class submarines and Type 054 Class frigates.

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