Fizzled out by India’s move to strip Jammu and Kashmir of special status and bifurcate the state in two Union Territories (UTs), Pakistan on Wednesday decided to suspend bilateral trade with India. At the National Security Committee meeting, chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, it was also decided to downgrade the diplomatic relations with New Delhi.
"Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a local Pakistani tv channel.
The National Security Committee meeting was attended by Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, Interior Minister, Minister for Education, Minister for Human Rights, Minister for KA&GB, Law Minister, Adviser Finance, CJCSC, COAS, CAS, V-CNS, SAPM on Information, DG-ISI, DG-ISPR, Secretary Foreign Affairs and other senior officers.
During the meeting, it was also decided to review the Pakistan-India bilateral arrangements, take the Kashmir special status issue to the United Nations and observe the upcoming Independence Day on August 14 in solidarity with Kashmiris.
"PM directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to expose brutal Indian racist regime, design and human rights violations," a statement issued after the National Security Committee meeting said.
The decision from Pakistan came in response to India's move to remove part of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir a significant automony. The central government also devided the state in two Union Territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir with its own legislature and Ladakh with legislature.
Pakistan, which illegaly occupied a part of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 when the state's ruler decided to join India after Independence and claims all of it, had condemned and rejected the Indian government's decision and vowed to exercise "all possible options" to counter India's "illegal" and "unilateral" step.