India regrets the steps announced by Pakistan; government seeks review

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New Delhi: After Pakistan downgraded diplomatic and trade ties, India on Thursday asked Pakistan to review its decision.

Pakistan on Wednesday had expelled the Indian envoy in Islamabad and had announced a five-point plan that included downgrading its ties with India and suspending bilateral trade.

“We have seen reports that Pakistan has decided to take certain unilateral actions in respect to its bilateral relations with India,” the foreign ministry said.

“The recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely the internal affair of India. 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,” the foreign ministry added.

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“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.”

The statement said it was not surprising that such developmental initiatives that could address any disaffection in Jammu and Kashmir should be negatively perceived in Pakistan, “which has utilized such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism.”

The statement further stated that ‘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.”

Earlier, Pakistan had said that it will appeal to the UN Security Council against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and split it into two Union Territories.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned earlier that the Kashmir move would have ‘serious repercussions’.

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