Pakistan downgrades ties with India

A day after India abrogated Article 370 with regard to Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir, Pakistan announced that it was downgrading diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

The decision was taken at a National Security Committee meeting chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday.

There has been no official word from the Pakistan foreign ministry about the move yet. Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted on Tuesday, “India moves from occupation to annexation. This too shall fail.”

The decision to downgrade diplomatic ties could cast a shadow on the Kartarpur corridor and efforts to get consular access to Khulbushan Jadhav.

Some of the major decision taken at the meeting as communicated by Khan’s party twitter handle is that NSC decided to “down grade of diplomatic relations with India”, suspend bilateral trade with India and . Review of bilateral arrangements. “ Khan also directed that “all diplomatic channels be activated to expose the brutal Indian racist regime’s designs and human rights violations”. He also directed the country’s armed forces to continue vigilance.

Launching a tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan said on Twitter, “Expose the real ideology of warmonger Narendra Modi and his BJP Party. Ideology of Indian Government is based on RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), they want to target the Muslims and then cleanse the country of them, they have become insensitive to their own Muslim nationals.”

Meanwhile , the office of US acting assistant secretary of state Alice Wells said on Twitter, “Contrary to press reporting, the Indian government did not consult or inform the US Government before moving to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status.”

Meanwhile, in Kashmir, there is still a communication shutdown and certain other restrictions in the valley. Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who were under house arrest since Sunday night, were placed under arrest on Monday night as they were considered a threat to the law-and-order situation in the state, officials said.

Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference leaders Sajjad Lone and Imran Ansari were also arrested, they added. Some shops opened in Srinagar and movement of people on the roads had picked up despite the restrictions, a senior official of the state administration said, adding that the "situation is comfortable now".

Stating that there were "very few incidents of stone-pelting", he said people were moving on two-wheelers and cars as well.

The official said the authorities were extending assistance to those who had a marriage in the family.

Several video clips from Kashmir have gone viral on social media platforms showing people opening shops, walking, driving motorcycles and cars on the roads of Srinagar.

One clip showed people purportedly from the border district of Kupwara saying they wanted peace and were happy at the decision of the government to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 in the state as it would remove political corruption. They also said the situation was peaceful. An incident of stone-pelting was reported from Poonch district

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