India on Friday said Pakistan should accept the reality and stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, ANI reported. The actions taken by them were also done without consulting the Indian side, the Ministry of External Affairs said. This statement came on a day when Pakistan suspended the Thar Express, the last remaining train service with India, as a mark of protest against New Delhi revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Reuters reported.
“We have decided to shut down the Thar Express as well,” Pakistan’s Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed was quoted as saying by Reuters. It was in reference to the weekly service running between the towns of Khokrapar in Pakistan and Monabao in India. “As long as I am railways minister, no train will operate between Pakistan and India,” Rasheed added.
On Thursday, Pakistan had suspended Samjhauta Express, which connects Delhi with the Pakistani city of Lahore.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has urged Pakistan to reconsider their decision. “Our sense is that whatever is being done by Pakistan is to present an alarming picture of bilateral relationship,” Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI.
Kumar also said Pakistan was nervous over India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that Islamabad can no longer mislead people if there was development in that region, PTI reported.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan banned all cultural exchanges with India, including all kinds of joint ventures between the entertainment industries of the two countries. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting also launched a national slogan saying “Say No to India”. The Pakistani official also requested the media not to damage the national narrative on the matter by airing negative information based on sources, and claimed it was their responsibility to come to the forefront to defeat “Indian cultural invasion”.
On Monday, India revised Article 370 of Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and ordered all laws to be applicable in the region the way they are in the rest of the country. The contentious law had so far ensured that the state had its own laws, flag and a Constitution.
Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India over Kashmir, responded by downgrading diplomatic ties, suspending bilateral trade, and halting the Samjhauta Express and Thar train services between the two countries. India said Pakistan’s reaction was meant to present an “alarming picture” of bilateral relations to the international community. India added that Jammu and Kashmir was its integral part and hence it was an internal matter.