India on Thursday rebutted Pakistan that had downgraded diplomatic ties over New Delhi’s move to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, insisting that it was an “internal matter” designed to fast track development in J&K.
“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,” foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.
New Delhi also asked Islamabad to revisit its decision so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, which had been under pressure to respond to India’s decision on Kashmir, had yesterday announced a slew of measures including the expulsion of the Indian envoy, suspension of bilateral trade, and review of bilateral arrangements.
In response, India stressed that the “recent decisions” taken by the government were driven by a commitment to extend to J&K opportunities for development that were earlier denied by a temporary provision in the Constitution.
It would, India explained, remove gender and socio-economic discrimination, lead to an upswing of economic activity and improve the livelihood prospects of all people.
“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,” the foreign ministry statement said.