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Pakistan downgrades diplomatic ties, suspend trade with India

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Islamabad, Aug 07: Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Wednesday chaired meeting of National Security Committee at Prime Minister's Office in Islamabad after resolution to revoke Article 370 was passed by Parliament. It announced a three-point plan that included a downgrade of its ties with India and suspension of bilateral trade. It will also review bilateral arrangements with India.

 Pak to downgrade diplomatic relation, suspend trade with India

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Pakistan National Security Committee decided to take following actions
1. Downgrading of diplomatic relations with India.
2. Suspension of bilateral trade with India.
3. Review of bilateral arrangements.

This was announced after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a crucial meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC), attended by top civil and military leadership, during which it was also decided to suspend the bilateral trade and review the "bilateral arrangements".

India on Monday revoked Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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A statement issued after the NSC meeting read that the Committee discussed situation "arising out of unilateral and illegal actions" by the Indian government, situation inside Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control.

The Committee decided "downgrading of diplomatic relations with India" and "suspension of bilateral trade with India," the statement said.

Pakistan will also take the matter (abolition of the Article 370 by India) to the United Nations, including the Security Council, the statement said.

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

India has said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the issue is strictly internal to the country. The statement said that the country will observe this Independence Day on August 14 in solidarity with Kashmiris.

"August 15 will be observed as Black Day," it added. Prime Minister Khan also directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to highlight the alleged human rights violations in the Valley. He directed the military to continue vigilance, the statement said.

The Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Interior Minister, Advisor on finance, Kashmir Affairs Minister as well as Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman, three services chiefs, ISI chief, and other top officials attended the meeting.

The NSC met after the meeting of top military generals and and a rare joint session of parliament on the Kashmir issue on Tuesday. It was the second meeting of Pakistan's top decision making body this week.

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