India urges Pakistan to review decision to downgrade ties over Kashmir move
India on Thursday urged Pakistan to review its decision to downgrade diplomatic and trade ties after its decisions on Kashmir. On Wednesday, Pakistan had expelled the Indian envoy in Islamabad and had announced a five-point plan that included downgrading its ties with India and suspending bilateral trade, NDTV reports.
"We have seen reports that Pakistan has decided to take certain unilateral actions in respect to its bilateral relations with India," the foreign ministry said in a detailed response.
The intention behind Pakistan's measures "is obviously to present an alarming picture to the world of our bilateral ties", said the statement. The reasons cited by Pakistan are not supported by facts on the ground, the government said.
"The recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely the internal affair of India. The Constitution of India was, is and will always be a sovereign matter. Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed," the government said.
"Recent decisions by the government and parliament of India are driven by a commitment to extend to Jammu and Kashmir opportunities for development that were earlier denied by a temporary provision in the Constitution. Its impact would also result in the removal of gender and socio-economic discrimination. It is also expected to result in an upswing of economic activity and improvement in the livelihood prospects of all people of Jammu and Kashmir."
The statement said it was not surprising that such developmental initiatives that could address any disaffection in Jammu and Kashmir should be negatively perceived in Pakistan, "which has utilized such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism."
The statement said the government regretted the steps announced by Pakistan yesterday and "would urge that country to review them so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved".
Pakistan has also said it will appeal to the UN Security Council against the Narendra Modi government's decision to end Jammu and Kashmir's special status and split it into two Union Territories. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned earlier that the Kashmir move would have "serious repercussions".
In a tweet after Imran Khan's meeting with the National Security Committee, Islamabad tweeted a five-point response that included downgrading diplomatic relations and suspending bilateral trade.