Article 370: Pakistan Expels Indian Envoy, Shuts Air Space, Bilateral Trade & Downgrades Diplomatic Ties
This week has been a roller-coaster one! Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah did what no Indian government has ever been able to do- Scrap Article 370 and 35a and bring Jammu and Kashmir in India completely. It is a moment of national pride and the whole country is rejoicing and praising PM Modi.
As discussions in the parliament continue on the issue amidst security concerns in the capital and Jammu and Kashmir region rising, Pakistan is protesting India’s move to scrap Article 370. In a move to protest India’s scrapping of Article 370, Pakistan expelled India envoy following an announcement to downgrade diplomatic relations with India. Pakistan expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Basaria. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a televised comment soon after the NSC meeting, “Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back.” Pakistan has also decided to suspend bilateral trade with India.
In response to Pakistan’s protest, Indian government sources said that India will maintain status quo on the suspension of trade with Pakistan, put into place right after the February 14 Pulwama attack. The sources also claimed that Pakistan can take the matter to the UN but it won’t change India’s stand on trade.
Right now, there is no Pakistani high commissioner deputed in India. Pakistani diplomat Moin-ul-Haq was to assume the post when he was appointed in May. However, he won’t be assuming his post in New Delhi now.
Along with the suspension of bilateral trade and downgrading diplomatic ties, Pakistan has also shut a corridor in its air space. An Air India official said this will add 12 minutes of flight time to overseas flight. The flights will be diverted to other routes due to the closure.
The Air India spokesperson said, “One air corridor has been closed (in Pakistani airspace), requiring a maximum of 12 minutes diversion. It will not affect us (much).”
Meanwhile, experts are saying that Pakistan’s decision to shut bilateral trade with India will affect the former more since it is heavily dependent on India for essential items like onion, tomatoes, and chemicals.
“The suspension of trade relations will hit Pakistan more badly as India is less dependent on Pakistan while the latter is more,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) director-general Ajay Sahai said.
Vikramjit Singh Sahney, president, Internation Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – India said that the recent development is a ‘very sad’ one. He said Pakistan’s decision would further impact trade ties between the countries.
Rakesh Mohan Joshi, professor at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), also said something similar that Pakistan’s decision is going to impact its businesses.
Professor Biswajit Dhar of Jawaharlal Nehru University too said that Pakistan will bear both short and long term impact from their decision as the also import basic agri-commodities like onion and tomatoes.
As it seems, the conditions between the two countries will escalate further from here. With news coming in fast, Pakistan will want the US’s intervention in this matter as President Trump recently gave his words to mediate Kashmir talks between the two neighbouring countries.
For more new, keep checking Befazool Charcha.