Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria returned to Delhi early on Monday days after he was expelled by the Islamabad government in retaliation to Centre’s revocation of Article 370, that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.
The Indian Parliament last Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The Pakistan government had termed the Centre’s move as “unilateral and illegal”.
As tensions between the two nations escalated once again after Centre scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution, Pakistan on Wednesday decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India over the Kashmir move. It expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspended trade with India.
The decision was taken at a meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) – the second within a week – presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the situation following the Indian government’s move on Kashmir.
As per the Pakistan National Security Council decision, the government has decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India, suspend bilateral trade with New Delhi, review bilateral arrangements, take up Kashmir matter with the UN and observe August 14 in solidarity with brave Kashmiris.
In a series of retaliatory measures, Islamabad suspended the Samjhauta Express and Thar Express services operating between Pakistan and India.
It also stopped the Lahore-Delhi ‘Dosti’ bus service.
Meanwhile, India has slammed Pakistan for the unilateral decisions taken in respect to the bilateral relations and urged the neighbouring nation to “review the steps taken so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved”.