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Article 370 revoked: Pakistan expels Indian envoy, suspends bilateral trade

The decision was taken at a crucial meeting of the National Security Committee chaired by Pak PM Imran Khan

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Imran Khan
File photo of Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Pakistan announced on Wednesday that it is expelling the Indian High Commissioner and suspending bilateral trade with its nuclear-armed neighbour, days after New Delhi revoked the special status of

"We will call back our ambassador from Delhi and send back their" envoy, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced in televised comments, while a government statement declared that Pakistan will suspend trade in a downgrading of diplomatic ties between the arch rivals.

Pakistan on Wednesday downgraded diplomatic relations with India and suspended bilateral trade in the wake of New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of

The Indian government on Monday abolished Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Prime Minister chaired a crucial meeting of the Security Committee (NSC) in Islamabad which was attended by top civil and military leadership.

A statement issued after the meeting read that the Committee discussed situation "arising out of unilateral and illegal actions" by the Indian government, situation inside Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control.

The Committee decided "downgrading of diplomatic relations with India" and "suspension of bilateral trade with India," the statement said.

The NSC also decided to review "bilateral arrangements" with India.

The Committee resolved to take the matter (abolition of the Article 370 by India) to the United Nations, including the Security Council, the statement said.

India has said Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and the issue was strictly internal to the country.

The Pakistani statement said that the country will observe this Independence Day on August 14 in solidarity with Kashmiris.

"August 15 will be observed as Black Day," it added.

India celebrates August 15 as its Independence Day.

Prime Minister Khan also directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to highlight the alleged human rights violations in the Valley.

He also directed the military to continue vigilance, according to the statement.

The Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Interior Minister, Advisor on finance, Kashmir Affairs Minister as well as Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman, three services chiefs, ISI chief, and other top officials attended the meeting.

The NSC met after the meeting of top military generals and and a rare joint session of parliament on the Kashmir issue on Tuesday. It was the second meeting of Pakistan's top decision making body this week.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Khan convened the NSC meeting to discuss issues pertaining to security in the wake of developments in the region.

Pakistan has condemned and rejected the Indian government's decision and vowed to exercise "all possible options" to counter India's "illegal" and "unilateral" step.

The NSC is the highest forum of civil and military top leadership to come together and discuss important matters of security.

First Published: Wed, August 07 2019. 19:20 IST