Home / News / India /  Pakistan downgrades diplomatic ties, suspends trade with India

New Delhi: Pakistan on Wednesday said it will downgrade diplomatic ties with India and suspend bilateral trade, asking India to withdraw its envoy to Pakistan in retaliation against the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir and revocation of its special status.

“Pursuant to the decision of the National Security Committee today, Government of India has been told to withdraw its High Commissioner to Pakistan. The Indian Government has also been informed that Pakistan won’t be sending its High Commissioner-designate to India," the Pakistan foreign office said in a statement made available by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

The decisions were taken after a meeting of the Pakistan National Security Committee chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The meeting decided to review all bilateral arrangements between the two countries. Besides this, Pakistan said it will raise the issue of India integrating Kashmir more closely with itself at the UN.

Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper quoted foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as saying Islamabad will summon its envoy from New Delhi and send back Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria. Pakistan does not yet have a high commissioner in India. In March, Islamabad announced its current envoy to Paris would be moving to New Delhi after the departure of the then high commissioner Sohail Mehmood. Mehmood was promoted as Pakistan’s foreign secretary.

According to analysts, New Delhi does not have much to worry about the Pakistani moves, given that international reaction to India’s move to revoke Article 370 granting Jammu and Kashmir special status has been muted. The US, UAE and some other countries have backed India’s position that the move to designate Kashmir as a Union territory was an internal matter. Criticism has mainly come from Pakistan and China.

“Pakistan has resorted to these actions as it has not been able to find an adequate way to respond to what India has done," said former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal. By making Kashmir a Union territory, New Delhi had effectively taken away Pakistan’s argument that it is a disputed territory, said Sibal.\

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