Article 370: Pakistan Expels Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, Suspends Trade

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Pakistan's Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry suggested Wednesday that Islamabad should sever diplomatic ties with New Delhi after the Indian government scrapped the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, reported PTI.

(AP Photo/Dar Yasin). In this Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019 photo, a Kashmiri municipal worker pushes his cart filled with trash as Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol during curfew in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. New Delhi has deployed additional security forces to Jammu and Kashmir following its 5 August decision to revoke the state's special constitutional status.

India and Pakistan claim the region in its entirety, but rule it in part. It came amid news of hundreds of arrests in the Muslim-majority region, which is now in its fourth day of a communications blackout. The changes eliminate Kashmir's right to its own constitution, limit its decision-making power, and allow non-Kashmiri Indians to settle there.

In a nationally broadcast speech Thursday, Modi described changes imposed this week by his government in Kashmir as historic and assured its residents that the situation will soon become normal. He said it prevented application of other Indian laws, including ones that protected minorities and established minimum wages.

Every year, tens of thousands of people travel to Kashmir from various Indian states seeking work, mainly in masonry, carpentry and agriculture. Schools and shops have closed.

Phone networks and the internet have been cut off since Sunday evening.

He promised greater employment conditions, education benefits, health care, financial schemes, and progress for the region as a result of rescinding Article 370. No permission has been granted this week for worldwide reporters to visit the region.

Lawmakers also stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its status as an Indian state, splitting it into two territories directly governed by New Delhi. "Communication is a lifeline", said one fire official who requested anonymity.

In a subsequent tweet, he promised to deliver "developmental opportunities. denied for decades!"

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India urges Pak to review decision to downgrade ties over Kashmir move.

The sources said that though the local commanders were not informed about the specific decision but were given an idea about a big development likely to take place in relation to the Valley.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid announced to permanently shut down the Samjhauta Express train that runs between Pakistan and India for two days, Mondays and Thursdays, in a week.

"The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint", his spokesperson added. And at airports, people have sought out strangers to carry letters to loved ones.

A petition challenging the lockdown was filed in India's top court.

Some complained on Wednesday that their Kashmiri employers didn't pay them any salary as Indian security forces began imposing tight travel restrictions over the weekend and asked them to leave their jobs.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over control of Kashmir. India blamed the militants for a deadly attack on its police convoy.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres called Thursday on India and Pakistan "to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of occupied and Kashmir".