Pakistan expels Indian High Commissioner, US says India didn’t consult on 370 issue

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, minutes after it decided to downgrade the diplomatic ties with India in the wake of New Delhi’s ‘unilateral and illegal’ move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

This was announced after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a crucial meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) in Islamabad, attended by top civil and military leadership, during which it was also decided to suspend the bilateral trade and review ‘bilateral arrangements’.

“Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in televised comments soon after the NSC meeting.

While India’s High Commissioner Bisaria is in Islamabad, his Pakistani counterpart Moin-ul-Haq is yet to take charge in New Delhi.

A statement issued after the NSC meeting read that the Committee discussed situation ‘arising out of unilateral and illegal actions’ by the Indian government, situation inside Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control.

The Committee decided ‘downgrading of diplomatic relations with India’ and ‘suspension of bilateral trade with India’, the statement said.

The NSC also decided to review ‘bilateral arrangements’ with India.

The Committee resolved to take the matter (abolition of the Article 370 by India) to the United Nations, including the Security Council, the statement said.

India didn’t consult on 370 issue: US official

The United States on Wednesday strongly refuted news reports that India had informed it before revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Multiple media reports from the US and India said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the Indian decision on Jammu and Kashmir when they met in Bangkok last week.

‘Contrary to press reporting, the Indian government did not consult or inform the US Government before moving to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status,’ Acting Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells tweeted.

India has maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and the issue is strictly internal to the country.