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India-Pakistan and a history of diplomatic downgrades

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New Delhi, Aug 08: A day after Parliament scrapped special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan took a decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with India.

After the decision was taken by the National Security Committee (NSC), Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, their ambassadors will no longer be in Delhi and their counterparts in Pakistan will be sent back.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

It may be recalled that ties had been downgraded in 2001, when India pulled out Vijay Nambiar, high commissioner to Islamabad after the attack on Parliament. Pakistan immediately pulled out its high commissioner, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi.

In 2003, India expelled the deputy high commissioner of Pakistan, Jalil Abbas Jillani on the accusation of espionage. Pakistan then sent back by sending back Indian acting high commissioner, Sudhir Vyas.

However the same year, both India and Pakistan resumed full diplomatic relations. Pakistan appointed Aziz Ahmed Khan to New Delhi, while India sent Shiv Shankar Menon to Islamabad.

Pakistan change aerial routes over Lahore hours after downgrading ties, suspending trade

This time after Pakistan decided to downgrade ties, it also announced the suspension of bi-lateral trade and also review of the bilateral agreement. Further it has also decided to go to the UN against India. A decision on observing August 15 as solidarity day with the Kashmiris was also taken.

India's top exports to Pakistan are textiles and chemicals. Pakistan on the other hand exports vegetables, oils, minerals and fats. These items exported by either side make up for 70 per cent and the total value of the bilateral trade stands at around 2 billion US dollars.

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