News World Pakistan to expel Indian ambassador as Kashmir tensions surge
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Pakistan to expel Indian ambassador as Kashmir tensions surge

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India's move has sparked protests on both sides of the Kashmir divide. Photo: Getty
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Pakistan plans to expel India’s ambassador and suspend bilateral trade with its arch-rival after Delhi stripped its portion of the contested Kashmir region of special status.

Neighbours China and Pakistan, which both claim parts of Kashmir, have voiced fierce opposition to India’s removal of a constitutional provision that had allowed the country’s only Muslim-majority state to make its own laws.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have twice waged war over Kashmir and in February engaged in an aerial clash.

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that India’s move to change the status of the disputed Kashmir region might bring war again.

“We will fight it (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy) at every forum,” Mr Khan said.

“We’re thinking how we can take it to International Court (of Justice) … to the United Nations Security Council.”

India, which has been battling insurgents in Kashmir for 30 years, said the special status had hindered the region’s development and it wanted to fully integrate the region with the rest of the country.

Pakistan’s new ambassador to India, Moin-ul-Haq, has yet to take up his post but will now not move to Delhi, while Indian Ambassador Ajay Bisaria will be expelled, Islamabad said on Wednesday.

“It is very obvious that our ambassador wouldn’t be in Delhi, and obviously the man who is here will also leave,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a telephone interview with Pakistani TV channel ARY News.

A spokesman for India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pakistan’s move.

Thousands of Indian security forces kept a lid on protests in Kashmir on Wednesday, helped by the continued suspension of telephone and internet services after the Himalayan region’s special status was scrapped this week.

Streets in the main Kashmiri city of Srinagar were deserted for a third day, with almost all shops shut, barring some pharmacies.

Armed federal police manned mobile checkpoints across the city, limiting people’s movement.

Knots of young protesters threw stones at soldiers, police and a witness said, amid anger over the telecoms clampdown that began on Sunday.

-with AAP