Kashmir row: Pakistan to downgrade diplomatic relations with India

Pakistan has said it plans to downgrade its diplomatic relations and suspend bilateral trade with India.
The move comes in response to India’s decision earlier this week to revoke the special status granted to the Indian-controlled Kashmir region.

In a government statement on Wednesday, Pakistan said it also planned to take details of the latest dispute to the United Nations Security Council, and would review other relations with its neighbour.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called for the country’s armed forces to remain vigilant.
Mr Khan has previously expressed concern over India’s decision on the special status, saying it could lead to a “regional crisis”.

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Image: Soldiers patrol deserted streets of Jammu
Kashmir is a region bitterly divided between India and Pakistan, with both countries claiming the region in its entirety.

Tensions have simmered for years along the Line of Control, the volatile, highly militarised frontier that divides the Muslim-majority region in two.

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Pakistan and India routinely blame each other for initiating border skirmishes.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were re-elected earlier this year on a platform that included promises to do away with special rights for Kashmiris under India’s constitution.
Rebels in Indian-controlled Kashmir have been fighting Indian control since 1989.
Many Kashmiris support the rebels’ demand – that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country – while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
India’s presidential decree, announced on Monday, will see the revocation of Article 370 from its constitution, which guaranteed Indian-controlled Kashmir its special status, and its special rights to have sufficient autonomy away from New Delhi.
Ahead of the move, India deployed thousands of extra soldiers to block roads in Srinagar, the region’s main city, and cut communication lines in a bid to limit the spread of information.
While a lock down on the Indian-administered side was enforced over Monday’s decision, protests erupted in the Pakistan-controlled region.
Demonstrators were seen on Wednesday to burn Indian flags and an effigy of Mr Modi in the city of Muzaffarabad.
Meanwhile, hundreds of workers were forced to leave the Himilayan region for places in northern India amid the security lock down as they say employers had not been paying their salaries.
One worker, Jagdish Mathur, said he hadn’t “eaten properly in four days”, and that he didn’t have enough money to buy a train fare to his home in eastern Bihar state.
He added: “The government should help me.”

Source : Sky News