Pakistan downgrades diplomatic ties with India, suspends trade and train service
08 August 2019
Pakistan on Wednesday decided to shut down the Wagah border and downscale its diplomatic relationship with India in the wake of the Indian Parliament abrogating provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The decision was taken in the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting presided over by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Pakistan government also decided to send back Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria back to India and also not send its High Commissioner-designate Moin-ul-Haq to India who was set to take charge later this month. Bisaria and deputy envoy Gaurav Ahluwalia have both been officially informed about Pakistan's decision and were summoned by Pakistan's foreign affairs ministry.
The meeting of Pakistan’s NSA also decided to suspend bilateral trade with India, review all bilateral arrangements and move the United Nations, including the UN Security Council on India’s decision to change the status of J&K.
The meeting was attended by Qureshi, Pakistan's defence minister Pervez Khattak, interior minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah, minister for education, minister for human rights, minister for KA&GB, law minister, adviser finance, CJCSC, COAS, CAS, CNS, SAPM on information, DG-ISI, DG-ISPR, secretary foreign affairs and other senior officers in the Pakistan government.
Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed that "all diplomatic channels be activated to expose brutal Indian racist regime, design and human rights violations". Khan also directed the country's armed forces to continue vigilance.
Pakistan had earlier condemned India’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and pledged to exercise “all possible measures” to counter the “illegal”, “unilateral” step.
India has not engaged in any bilateral dialogue with Pakistan ever since the attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in January 2016, which was carried out by terrorists operating out of Pakistan. The then foreign minister, Late Sushma Swaraj, had maintained that “terror and talks cannot go hand-in-hand”.