Pakistan has fired back at India after it reduced the status of the disputed Kashmir region, saying it will suspend bilateral trade and downgrade diplomatic ties.
Pakistan has decided to downgrade its diplomatic ties with neighbouring India and suspend bilateral trade in response to New Delhi’s decision to reduce the special status of Kashmir, a Himalayan region claimed by both countries.
The decision was made at a meeting of Pakistan’s National Security Committee led by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by the heads of the armed forces and senior government officials.
The government said in a statement that Pakistan will also review other aspects of relations with India.
It also decided to ask the United Nations, including the Security Council, to pressure India to reverse its decision to strip statehood and other rights from the portion of Kashmir it administers.
Hhundreds of poor migrant workers have begun fleeing the Himalayan region to return to their faraway villages in northern and eastern India.
Some complained that their Kashmiri employers didn’t pay them any salary as security forces began imposing tight travel restrictions over the weekend and asked them to leave their jobs.
Authorities in Hindu-majority India clamped a complete shutdown on Kashmir as they scrapped the Muslim-majority state’s special status, including exclusive hereditary rights and a separate constitution, and divided it into two territories.
The Kashmir region is divided between India and Pakistan and is claimed by both.
The two nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since they won independence from British colonialists in 1947.