Two days since India’s illegal decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status in its constitution, the National Security Committee (NSC) has come out with a series of decisions to take in light of India-Pakistan relations. A meeting of the top security body had been called by the Prime Minister Imran Khan in the wake of India’s shock decision to scrap the special status for occupied Kashmir, and after two long days full of Pakistani citizens expressing their grief and solidarity with the Kashmiri cause, the NSC has decided upon some short term measures.

First and most impactful, the NSC has decided to downgrade Pakistan’s diplomatic relations with New Delhi and suspend all bilateral trade. Pakistan’s highest governmental and military officials present at the meeting have also decided to recall Pakistan’s ambassador from New Delhi and expel the Indian envoy. Other measures of alienating India include the decision to review Pakistan-India bilateral arrangements, take the matter of Kashmir to the United Nations and observe the upcoming Independence Day on August 14 in solidarity with Kashmiris. A statement was issued after the meeting which stated, ““the Prime Minister directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to expose brutal Indian racist regime, design and human rights violations.”

This response gives us a lot to unpack. It is finally some decisive action by the government to appease the sentiments of the millions of Pakistanis who are grieving with the sufferings of the Kashmiris and want the Pakistani state to respond in some kind to India’s atrocities. While ruckus in the parliament and lengthy speeches by the opposition would have the government respond militarily, the short-term measures by the government are a restrained response. These measures, of suspending bilateral relations and seeking international avenues for justice, may not be the most popular but might be the need of the hour.

Whether we like it or not, an escalation of violence and a military response would not be in the interest of both counties. More effective would be to bring to international light India’s utter and complete disregard for international conventions and agreements. By degrading the United Nations’ cease-fire agreement in Kashmir and taking a unilateral decision without consulting the Kashmiri people, India shows that it does not respect international law- and this is the fact we need to keep on highlighting and bringing to the international courts, whether the world wants to see it or not.