Government released a statement declaring that Pakistan will suspend trade with India in a downgrading of diplomatic ties between the arch rivals

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan announced Wednesday that it is expelling the Indian High Commissioner and suspending bilateral trade with its nuclear-armed neighbour, days after New Delhi stripped the disputed Kashmir region of its special autonomy.

“We will call back our ambassador from Delhi and send back their” envoy, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced.

He spoke as the government released a statement declaring that Pakistan will suspend trade with India in a downgrading of diplomatic ties between the arch rivals.

Islamabad also vowed to take the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

Monday’s decision by the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tighten control on Muslim-majority Kashmir had been widely expected to trigger conflict with Pakistan and reignite an insurgency that has already cost tens of thousands of lives.

Kashmir has been divided between Pakistan and India since independence in 1947.

Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed on Tuesday to fight the issue “on every forum” and demanded the international community take action, accusing Modi of an anti-Muslim agenda.

The Pakistan army has also said it “firmly stands” with Kashmiris.

Earlier today, the National Security Committee (NSC) decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India, suspend bilateral trade, review bilateral arrangements and take the annexation of occupied Kashmir by India to the United Nations, including the Security Council.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the NSC deliberations, which continued for more than three hours. The NSC discussed situation arising out of unilateral and illegal actions by the Indian government, situation inside Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and along Line of Control (LoC).

It was also decided that the Independence Day on 14 August will be observed in solidarity with brave Kashmiris and their just struggle for their right of self-determination. The 15th August will be observed as Black Day.