19:47 GMT +314 December 2019
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    India Will Find Way to Deal with Blockage of Air, Land Connectivity by Pakistan- Foreign Minister

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): As the standoff between India and Pakistan continues over New Delhi’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, Islamabad has threatened to close its airspace to Indian flights. Pakistan’s Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said Islamabad is also considering a complete ban on land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan

    Hussain in a tweet said, Pakistan’s federal cabinet is considering legal formalities for these decisions. “Modi has started, we will finish", he said.

    ​Responding to the threat, Indian Minister for External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said New Delhi would find a way to deal with the situation.

    "So if you have a neighbour who will not trade with you normally, who would not allow connectivity, use terrorism as a means of pressurising you, it's not a normal thing. We have some unique problem out there. We will find ways to deal with", said Dr Jaishankar at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow on Tuesday (27th August). He is in Russia to co-chair the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission - Technical and Economic Cooperation. 

    Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on 26 February, but reopened it in July. India’s national carrier Air India operates around 50 flights through Pakistani airspace.

    Dr Jaishankar said no other country in the world uses terrorism as a diplomatic tool against its neighbour.

    "Problem with Pakistan is very different. I would say if today you look at international relations, I cannot think of any other country in the world, which actually uses terrorism as a diplomatic tool against its neighbour, it is a very unique phenomenon".

    The tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad began in February after a terror attack killed 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama in the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir. The attack brought both the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of an armed conflict.

    Relations between the traditional rivals escalated again, when New Delhi stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status through a legislative change. Islamabad opposed it, claiming it is a stakeholder in the Kashmir issue.

    Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two countries since they gained freedom from British colonial rule in 1947. Both govern part of the region, but claim it in full. They also fought two wars over Kashmir.


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