New Delhi: Pakistan foreign secretary Sohail Mehmood on Monday called in India’n High Commisioner in Islamabad Ajay Bisaria to lodge a strong protest at India’s move to revoke Article 370 of the constitution and declare Jammu and Kashmir a union territory.

This followed a sharp reaction earlier in the day by the Pakistani foreign office.

“The Foreign Secretary conveyed Pakistan’s unequivocal rejection of these illegal actions as they are in breach of international law and several UN Security Council resolutions," a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign office said.

“Pakistan’s resolute condemnation of the unlawful actions aimed at further consolidating the illegal occupation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK) was underscored," it said.

Article 370, enacted in 1954, laid down that except for matters related to defence, foreign affairs, communications and issues specified in the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir, the Parliament needs the state government's ratification for all other laws. So far, residents of the state lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights.

According to the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill that was passed by the upper House of Parliament, Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature while Ladakh will not. Both regions have been designated union territories.

“The Foreign Secretary also condemned the preceding pre-meditated steps such as complete lock-down of IOK, deployment of additional 180,000 troops, imposition of curfew, house arrest of Kashmiri leaders and suspension of communication services, among others," the Pakistani statement said.

“The Foreign Secretary called upon India to halt and reverse its unlawful and destabilizing actions, ensure full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and refrain from any further action that could entail serious implications," it said.

“The Foreign Secretary reiterated that Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the indigenous legitimate Kashmiri people’s struggle for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination," it added.

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