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    Pakistan expels Indian envoy; downgrades diplomatic ties

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    Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, minutes after it decided to downgrade the diplomatic ties with India in the wake of New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

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

    "Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in televised comments soon after the NSC meeting.

    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.

    While India's High Commissioner Bisaria is in Islamabad, his Pakistani counterpart Moin-ul-Haq is yet to take charge in New Delhi.

    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.

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