New Delhi: China, Pakistan and Iran have been left out of the guest list for AeroIndia 2011, the biggest air show in the region. The Yelahanka, Bangalore-based air show kicks off next week with official representation from as many as 60 countries and promises to be the biggest ever.
The air show will be held from 9-15 February this year.
The Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bangalore-based air show is a biennial event and this will be its eighth edition.
Interestingly, not only has India not invited China for the prestigious event, but has also barred Chinese journalists from covering the show. As many as 380 foreign armament companies are due to display their military wares in the current edition.
With Chinese journalist complaining that they were being denied press accreditation, union defence production secretary, RK Singh, issued a clarification, saying, "The list of invitees is drawn up in consultation with the ministry of external affairs (MEA).''
"China was invited in previous AeroIndia editions but they did not come...so they probably were not invited this time....we go by the advice of the MEA. Our relations with China are improving and we have no serious problems with Iran,'' he added.
Pakistan normally does not figure in the list of invitees for military functions in India while defence interactions with Iran are limited. All defence exchanges with China have been put on hold ever since Beijing refused a visa to the then northern army command chief Lt-General BS Jaswal in July last year.
Among the countries participating in the air show are Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Germany, Greece, France, Israel, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mongolia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Sri Lanka, UK, US, Uzbekistan and Vietnam