Published: Thu, August 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Article 370: Pakistan Expels Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, Suspends Trade

Article 370: Pakistan Expels Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, Suspends Trade

A petition was filed Thursday in India's top court challenging the communications blackout and security clampdown in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where people remained holed up in their homes for a fourth day.

The Indian government has also been informed that Pakistan will not be sending its high commissioner-designate to India, the Foreign Ministry here said in a statement.

India's government this week revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and downgraded the region from statehood to a territory.

An armed rebellion against Indian rule has raged in the valley since 1989.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party have for a long time wanted to scrap Article 370 - a promise included in their manifesto for elections earlier this year.

Streets in the main Kashmiri city of Srinagar were deserted for a third day, with nearly all shops shut, barring some pharmacies.

"It's hell", a patient told the television channel.

Cell phone and Internet services are also mostly shutdown in Kashmir, leaving it cut off from most of the world.

As per reports, a Pakistan minister had asked for diplomatic ties with India to be terminated. The suspension announcement was made as passengers were waiting to board a train in the eastern city of Lahore to travel across the border.

In response to India's action, Pakistan on Wednesday said it would downgrade its diplomatic ties with India, expel the Indian ambassador and suspend bilateral trade.

"HRH the Crown Prince was also briefed by the Pakistani Prime Minister on the latest developments in Kashmir", it said.

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Indian paramilitary soldiers stop a Kashmiri man on a scooter on Wednesday during the curfew in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir.

They argued that Kashmir needed to be put on the same footing as the rest of India.

"I believe we all can live in peace", she added, in comments that were supported and criticized by Twitter users from India and Pakistan.

Kashmiris in other parts of the country said that they were unable to get through to their families.

China on Tuesday sided with all-weather friend Pakistan in voicing "serious concern" over the Kashmir situation and backed Islamabad's position in stating that Kashmir is "a legacy of history between India and Pakistan".

The United Nations has urged the two countries to exercise restraint. The region also lost its right to fly its own flag and make many of its own decisions.

The joint parliament session also called upon the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation to convene an extraordinary high level session on the Indian move, and asked the worldwide community to stop India from undertaking the actions that may lead to a unsafe escalation to affect not only South Asia but the entire world.

"Arbitrary detention and so-called cordon and search operations leading to a range of human rights violations continue to be deeply problematic, as do the special legal regimes applying to Indian-Administered Kashmir", it said.

However, the Indian government is now revoking most of Article 370.

Kashmir is India's only Muslim-majority state and most people oppose Indian rule.

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