ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said Thursday it would not take military action against nuclear-armed rival India for stripping Kashmir of its autonomy, though tensions over the disputed Himalayan region remained high as troops there kept it under lockdown.
The statement from Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi eased fears of an all-out clash between the South Asian neighbors, which have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region — but none since they both gained nuclear weapons.
On Monday Delhi stripped the Indian-held portion of Kashmir of its special autonomy, bringing it under its direct rule and deepening animosity with Pakistan, igniting days of debate over how the country should respond.
"Pakistan is not looking at the military option. We are rather looking at political, diplomatic, and legal options to deal with the prevailing situation," Qureshi said at a press conference in Islamabad.
Tensions remained high, however, with Qureshi's comments coming on the heels of a decision by Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic ties with India, suspend bilateral trade, and expel the country's envoy.
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