India on Thursday termed Pakistan downgrading diplomatic ties with it as an attempt to present an alarming picture to the world about bilateral relations, and urged Islamabad to review its decision.
The Ministry of External Affairs said India regretted the steps announced by Pakistan on Wednesday and asserted that its decision on Jammu and Kashmir is an internal affair.
The ministry said Pakistan negatively perceiving India’s developmental move is not surprising as the neighbouring country has utilised such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism.
“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 MEA said in a statement.
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.
“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 MEA said.
It said the intention behind Pakistan’s announcement on downgrading diplomatic ties was to present “an alarming picture to the world of our bilateral ties”.
“The government of India regrets the steps announced by Pakistan on Wednesday and would urge that country to review them so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved,” the MEA said.
It said 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 utilized such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism,” it added.
(With inputs from agencies)