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Pakistan painting alarming picture: Ministry of External Affairs

MEA 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.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 09, 2019, 09.39 AM IST
Security personnel stands guard on the deserted street of Jammu.
NEW DELHI: India on Thursday asserted that Pakistan is painting an alarming picture of the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir which is far from the truth, and this propaganda has prompted Islamabad to downgrade bilateral ties with India.

“We have seen reports that Pakistan has decided to take certain unilateral actions in respect to its bilateral relations with India. This includes the downgrading of our diplomatic relations. The intention behind these measures is obviously to present an alarming picture to the world of our bilateral ties. The reasons cited by Pakistan are not supported by facts on the ground,” the MEA spokesperson said a day after Pakistan announced its decision to expel the Indian High Commissioner.

India argued that the recent decisions on Kashmir are driven by a commitment to extend to J&K the opportunities for development that were earlier denied by a temporary provision in the constitution. Its impact would also result in the removal of gender and socio-economic discrimination, and is also expected to result in an upswing of economic activity and improvement in the livelihood prospects of the people in the state, said the spokesperson.

“It is not surprising that such developmental initiatives that could address any disaffection in J&K should be negatively perceived by Pakistan, which has used such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism,” he argued.

“The recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely an internal affair of India. The constitution of India was, is and will always be a sovereign matter. Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed,” the spokesperson warned.

“The Government of India regrets the steps announced by Pakistan yesterday (Wednesday) and would urge the country to review them so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved.”

On Thursday, Pakistan foreign minister rejected New Delhi's assertion that scrapping Article 370 of the Indian constitution was its "internal matter", saying the claim was wrong from a historical, legal and moral perspective. He also questioned India's claim that the change in the constitutional status was aimed at taking steps for the welfare of Kashmiris.

On Wednesday, Pakistan National Security Committee (NSC) decided to downgrade diplomatic ties with India and suspend bilateral trade, among other steps, in response to New Delhi’s move to annex occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan on Thursday stopped the Samjhauta Express on their side of the Wagah border, citing security concerns. The passengers were stranded briefly before Indian crew members and guard escorted the train back to Attari.

"When we received the information from the Pakistani authorities at around 2:14 pm, we assured them that there are no security concerns and the train should come here. However, we also told them that if necessary an Indian crew and guard will escort the train to Attari," a senior railway official told PTI.

Earlier in February, Pakistan had cancelled the train service as tensions grew between the two nations after the Pulwama terrorist attack.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed concern over Pakistan's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with India but hoped the move would not affect the construction of the Kartarpur corridor. He described the neighbouring nation's action "knee-jerk and uncalled for".

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