PM Narendra Modi to address nation in a special All India Radio broadcast at 4 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation in a special television broadcast at 8 pm today. Though it has not been officially confirmed, sources say that the PM will speak about his government's decision to revoke Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, the All India Radio tweeted that the PM will address the 'nation at 4 pm' today. However, the Public Service Broadcaster deleted the tweet later. Hence, it is speculated that timing of PM Modi's address may change although it is likely to take place today itself.
Apart from a tweet or two, Prime Minister has not spoken about the highly sensitive issue in public. This will be for the first time that he will talk about the issue directly. Earlier, there were speculations that the address to the nation will take place on August 7. However, due to the sudden demise of BJP veteran and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the plan was reportedly shelved.
Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. India maintains the Jammu and Kashmir issue is strictly internal.
From the United States to the United Nations, there have been a flurry of reactions from across the world on Modi government's bold step. As expected, Pakistan has opted for a hawkish approach. On Wednesday, Islamabad decided to suspend bilateral trade with India. At the National Security Committee meeting, chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, it was also decided to downgrade the diplomatic relations with New Delhi."Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a local Pakistani TV channel. The National Security Committee meeting was attended by Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, Interior Minister, Minister for Education, Minister for Human Rights, Minister for KA&GB, Law Minister, Adviser Finance, CJCSC, COAS, CAS, V-CNS, SAPM on Information, DG-ISI, DG-ISPR, Secretary Foreign Affairs and other senior officers.