India Urges Pakistan to Reconsider Decision to Downgrade Diplomatic Ties, Halt Trade Amid Kashmir Row
09:56 08.08.2019(updated 10:22 08.08.2019)
Earlier, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry announced that it had expelled an Indian envoy and will not send its envoy to Delhi. Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria and Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia were summoned by Pakistani foreign ministry and informed about the decision to expel Indian envoy to Pakistan.
The Indian government said in a statement that it regrets Pakistan's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties, halt trade and urged Islamabad to reconsider its move.
"The Government of India regrets the steps announced by Pakistan yesterday and would urge that country to review them so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved," Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on its website.
"The recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely the internal affair of India," the Ministry of External Affairs added.
The reaction came after the Pakistani National Security Committee announced on Wednesday measures to scale down relations with India, which decided to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and split it into two union territories. One of them, Ladakh, would not have its own legislature.
On Monday, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed a decree abolishing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, enshrined in Article 370 of the country's Constitution. In accordance with the federal government initiative, two union territories will be created in its place, having less rights than the state. This initiative was approved by parliament on Tuesday.
In turn, Pakistan, which has historically supported the Muslim minority of India living in Kashmir, strongly opposed this move. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered the creation of a special committee to work out a legal, political and diplomatic response to the decision of India on Jammu and Kashmir.
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