ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership on Wednesday decided to expel Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspend bilateral trade in the aftermath of New Delhi’s illegal move of revoking occupied Kashmir’s special status. Later, the Foreign Office conveyed the Pakistan government’s decision to the Indian Higher Commissioner who, after receiving this information, has started making farewell calls.
The decision was taken at the meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) in Islamabad, with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.
“Pursuant to the decision of the National Security Committee today, the Government of India has been told to withdraw its High Commissioner to Pakistan,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
“The Indian Government has also been informed that Pakistan will not be sending its High Commissioner-designate to India,” it added.
“We will call back our ambassador from Delhi and send back their” envoy, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi separately announced in televised comments.
He spoke as the government released a statement following the NSC meeting, declaring that Pakistan will suspend trade with India in a ‘downgrading of diplomatic ties’ between the arch rivals.
The committee discussed situation arising out of unilateral and illegal actions by the Indian government, situation inside Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LoC).
The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Minister Qureshi, services chiefs and intelligence officials among others.
The top leadership also decided to review ‘bilateral arrangements’ with the eastern neighbour while taking the matter to the United Nations, including the Security Council.
“Independence Day this August 14 to be observed in solidarity with brave Kashmiris and their just struggle for their right of self-determination,” the statement read. “August 15 will be observed as Black Day,” it added.
PM Imran also directed that “all diplomatic channels be activated to expose brutal Indian racist regime, design and human rights violations”. The premier also directed the armed forces to continue vigilance along the LoC.
The last NSC meeting had strongly condemned Indian atrocities in IoK and reiterated that Pakistan was ready to defend itself against any misadventure or aggression by India.