Pak expels Indian envoy
Indian High Commission Ajay Bisaria (left) and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (Right)

Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspended all bilateral ties in response to New Delhi's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two union territories.

It was unanimously decided during a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that the country will suspend bilateral trade and arrangements. with India. 

"We will call back our ambassador from Delhi and send back their envoy," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced after the meeting.

Qureshi said that Pakistan will take the Indian government's decision on Kashmir to the United Nations Security Council and observe the country's Independence day, on August 14, "in solidarity with Kashmiris", reported IANS.

"Independence Day this August 14 to be observed in solidarity with brave Kashmiris and their just struggle for their right of self-determination," a statement released by the PM office read. "August 15 will be observed as Black Day," Qureshi added.

The Pakistan government announced a five-point plan against India in a tweet on Wednesday after the NSC meeting.

"1-Downgrading of diplomatic relations with India. 2-Suspension of bilateral trade with India. 3-Review of bilateral arrangements. 4-Matter to be taken to UN, including the Security Council. 5-14th of August to be observed in solidarity with brave Kashmiris," the tweet read.

Imran Khan had earlier warned India that the Kashmir move will have "serious repercussions".

A joint parliamentary session chaired by the Special Committee on Kashmir head, Syed Fakhar Imam,  passed a resolution that condemned New Delhi's decision and called it "illegal, unilateral, reckless and coercive attempt to alter the disputed status of Indian occupied Kashmir as enshrined in the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions".

The resolution further slammed "other regressive measures to change Kashmir's demographic structure" and the "deployment of additional troops and atrocities in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and other recent developments".

The ongoing communication blackout and curfew in the region was also demanded to be lifted and the resolution demanded India to "honour its own commitment to the UNSC, Kashmiris and the international community".

During the joint session, the Indian government's decision was also compared to the "East Pakistan tragedy" by the Former President and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Asif Ali Zardari.

"The Kashmir issue is the second major incident after the separation of East Pakistan. The Pakistan Peoples Party was formed for the cause of Kashmir. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, after negotiations, took back the land from (former Indian Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi," Zardari was quoted as saying by Geo News.

"India will be divided because of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's thinking. Muslims of India and occupied Kashmir now understand the two-nation theory of Quaid-e-Azam," said Zardari.

Imran Khan on Tuesday had warned of a possible war with India after the government scrapped Article 370.

'Deeply concerned'

The UN has said that it was "deeply concerned" that the Indian government's decision will "exacerbate the human rights situation in the region". "The fact that hardly any information at all is currently coming out is of great concern in itself," said a UN spokesperson.

US lawmakers on Wednesday urged direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue and called for exercising peaceful restraint against escalating dispute. "We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern," a US statement said.

The Trump administration said that it was "closely following" the Indian's government's decision in the state and "continued to be concerned" over arrests and detentions against lawyers Anand Grover and Indira Jaising.

'Internal matter'

India has maintained that the matter of bifurcating the state into union territories under The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 on August 5 is an internal matter and advised other parties to stay out of its parliamentary decisions.

"India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise," said Raveesh Kumar, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, on Tuesday in response to China's claims on the Kashmir issue.