India asked Pakistan today to review its decision to downgrade bilateral diplomatic relations after its decisions on Kashmir.
Pakistan yesterday decided to expel Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Ajay Bisaria and announced a five-point plan that included downgrading its ties with India and suspending bilateral trade.
“We have seen reports that Pakistan has decided to take certain unilateral actions in respect to its bilateral relations with India. This includes the downgrading of our diplomatic relations,” our New Delhi correspondent reports quoting a statement issued by India’s External Affairs Ministry.
“The intention behind these measures (by Pakistan) is obviously to present an alarming picture to the world of our bilateral ties. The reasons cited by Pakistan are not supported by facts on the ground,” it said.
Without mentioning abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state, the Indian statement 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.
Justifying the abolition of Article 370, it said, “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.”
“It is 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 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,” the statement further read.
Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed, it added.
“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,” said the statement.
Pakistan yesterday also said it would move the UN Security Council against the Indian government's decision to end Jammu and Kashmir's special status and split it into two federally-ruled territories.