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India’s measured response to Pakistan: Review decision to downgrade ties

Islamabad, meanwhile, said that it will stop running the Samjhauta Express train service. Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed announced the suspension of the service. But Pakistan said it will continue work on the Kartarpur corridor.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: August 9, 2019 6:58:29 am
kashmir, jammu and kashmir, india pakistan relations, india pakistan tension, jk article 370 scrapped, pak india trade, indian express Sources said Delhi, while pointing out Pakistan’s motives to the international community, wants to convey a more reasonable approach towards Islamabad.

A day after Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic relations and suspend bilateral trade with India which revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi Thursday struck a measured tone and urged Islamabad to review its decision.

Underlining that revoking the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two Union Territories is “entirely the internal affair of India”, the Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement, said: “The Constitution of India was, is and will always be a sovereign matter. Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed.”

Islamabad, meanwhile, said that it will stop running the Samjhauta Express train service. Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed announced the suspension of the service. But Pakistan said it will continue work on the Kartarpur corridor.

Sources said Delhi, while pointing out Pakistan’s motives to the international community, wants to convey a more reasonable approach towards Islamabad.

Explained | What’s changed in Jammu and Kashmir?

Responding to Pakistan’s retaliatory measures, India said Pakistan has decided to take “certain unilateral actions” in respect to bilateral relations, including downgrading of “our diplomatic relations”.

Delhi said Islamabad’s objective is to present an alarming picture to the world. “The intention behind these measures 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.

Listing the benefits of India’s move on J&K, the MEA 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. 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.”

In the same breath, it hit out out at Islamabad: “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 utilised such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism.”

The MEA said: “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.”

A day after Parliament ratified the government’s decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories, Pakistan Wednesday announced it was downgrading diplomatic relations with India, and asked Delhi to withdraw its High Commissioner from Islamabad. Pakistan also said it would not be sending its High Commissioner-designate to India.

Sources told The Indian Express that after Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood called Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and conveyed Islamabad’s decision, the Indian envoy is returning to India, most likely Friday.

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