Downgrading Ties Attempt to Present Alarming Picture, Says India, Urges Pakistan to Review Decision
Image for representation.
New Delhi: India on Thursday termed Pakistan's announcement to downgrade diplomatic ties with it as an attempt to present an alarming picture to the world about relations between the two countries.
The Ministry of External Affairs said the Constitution was, is and will always be a sovereign matter and recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely India's internal affair.
The ministry said India regretted the steps announced by Pakistan on Wednesday, and urged Islamabad to review them so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved. "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," the ministry said.
India on Monday revoked Article 370 of the Constitution removing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and has also bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Reacting to the decision, Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, soon after deciding to downgrade the diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move.
The MEA added that India's decisions on Jammu and Kashmir will 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," it said.
"It is not surprising that such developmental initiatives that could address any disaffection in Jammu and Kashmir should be negatively perceived in Pakistan, which has utilised such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism," it added.