Pakistani PM reiterates support for residents in Indian section of Kashmir

Pakistani PM reiterates support for residents in Indian section of Kashmir

Pakistan’s prime minister has assured Kashmiri people living in the Indian-administered part of the divided region that he supports them in their struggle for self-determination.

Imran Khan condemned New Delhi’s August 5 decision to downgrade Kashmir’s status, as he began celebrations marking Pakistan’s independence day.

He is marking the day in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir to express solidarity with Kashmiris on the Indian-controlled side. He will make a speech in the legislative assembly to denounce what he says are Indian human rights violations in Kashmir.

India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947 when British colonialists left the subcontinent. The next year, they fought the first of two wars over control of Kashmir, which ended with the region divided between them, although both claim it entirely.

Kashmir is under a lockdown (Mukhtar Khan/AP)
Kashmir is under a lockdown (Mukhtar Khan/AP)

India has maintained an unprecedented security lockdown to try to stave off a violent reaction to Kashmir’s downgraded status. Protests and clashes have occurred daily, though the curfew and communications blackout have meant the reaction is largely subdued.

Pakistan has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, saying the move by India’s Hindu nationalist-led government threatens international peace and could lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Poland holds the council presidency this month and foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz said members would discuss the letter.

Pakistan’s president, celebrating Pakistan’s independence in Islamabad, condemned India’s downgrading of Kashmir’s status as a violation of international law and said Pakistan “will not leave Kashmiri people alone”.

India celebrates its independence on Thursday and is finalising preparations in New Delhi and in Indian-administered Kashmir on the 10th day of a near-total security lockdown in the Himalayan region. The lockdown is expected to last at least until Thursday.

- Press Association

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