Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration had denied Malaysian Premier Mahathir Mohammad a right to fly over India airspace during his recent 3 days trip to Pakistan. The purpose of this tour was to discuss possibilities of enhanced bilateral trade and development between the two countries and to attend the country’s National Day Parade held on March 23.
It resulted in forcing the Malaysian premier to take a much longer route which covers the Arabian Sea and cruise as far as Oman before returning to Islamabad.
One possible reason for taking such an injudicious step by Modi is Prime Minister Mohammad’s “preference” to Pakistan over India.
An Indian journalist Elizabeth Roche wrote during the third visit to India by Premier Mohammad’s predecessor Najib Razak in 2017,
“Many in the government and the Indian strategic community agree that bilateral ties under [former] Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, who was in power from 1981 to 2003, were far from satisfactory — mainly due to a perceived tilt towards India’s arch rival Pakistan.”
A senior retired Pakistani diplomat said it can happen during “erratic” time as we are witnessing between Pakistan and India at that moment. Somehow, it also shows the meanness of the Modi administration.