05:58 GMT09 May 2021
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    Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called a national security committee meeting to discuss the situation in Kashmir, following India's decision to revoke the state's autonomous status.

    Pakistan has expelled Indian envoy and will not send its envoy to Delhi, the country's foreign ministry has announced.

    "The Government of India has been told to withdraw its High Commissioner to Pakistan. The Indian Government has also been informed that Pakistan will not be sending its High Commissioner-designate to India", a statement by Pakistani foreign ministry says.

    Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria and Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia were summoned by Pakistani foreign ministry and informed about the decision to expel Indian envoy to Pakistan, Reuters has reported, citing diplomatic sources.

    Earlier, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that his country would recall its diplomats from India and expel Indian diplomats in response to New Delhi’s decision to abolish the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

    "Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back," Qureshi said after the meeting of the committee, as quoted by Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

    Pakistan's National Security Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, decided earlier in the day to downgrade diplomatic relations with India and suspend bilateral trade following New Delhi's move to revoke the special status of its Jammu and Kashmir state.

    "The committee discussed the situation arising out of unilateral & illegal actions by Indian govt, situation inside Indian Occupied J&K and along LOC," the Pakistani government said in a statement in its official Twitter blog.

    According to the statement, the committee also decided to take the matter to the United Nations, including the Security Council.

    UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Wednesday that he had expressed concern to his Indian counterpart over the situation in Kashmir.

    "I have spoken to the Indian Foreign Minister," Raab said on Wednesday. "We've expressed some of our concerns around the situation and called for calm, but also had a clear readout of the situation from the perspective of the Indian government." 

    A security personnel stands guard on a street in Jammu on August 6, 2019
    © AFP 2021 / RAKESH BAKSHI
    A security personnel stands guard on a street in Jammu on August 6, 2019

    On Monday, India revoked Article 370 of the constitution which protected the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, requiring the mandatory approval of most of the laws adopted by the Indian parliament in the local assembly.

    The Indian government plans to split the Ladakh region from Jammu and Kashmir and grant it the status of a union territory, which means it would be directly controlled by the federal government. The remainder of the state will become a second union territory. However, the Ladakh region will not have its own legislature, unlike Jammu and Kashmir.

    diplomacy, Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, India
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