Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said India’s recent actions in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir areas have endangered peace in the area.
Khan spoke Wednesday at a celebration of Pakistan’s Independence Day. The Pakistani government declared this Independence Day theme, #KashmirSolidarityDay.
Earlier this month, India cancelled part of its constitution that permitted self-rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan and India dispute Jammu and Kashmir territory. A line of control separates the two sides with Pakistan on the west and India on the east.
India’s government deployed tens of thousands of additional troops to Kashmir after cancelling the area’s self-rule August 5. Millions of Kashmiris are living under emergency rule meant to suppress any violent reaction. India reportedly has eased restrictions in some areas. But, police have detained hundreds of Kashmiri political leaders.
Khan traveled to the Pakistani side of the disputed area Wednesday. In a statement he expressed support for the people there, “I assure my Kashmiri brothers that we stand with them.”
Pakistan expelled the Indian high commissioner to Pakistan and suspended trade and public transportation links following India’s decision.
On Tuesday, Pakistan asked the United Nations Security Council to meet over India’s actions in Kashmir. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi blamed India for increasing tensions at the border.
He wrote in a letter to the Security Council, “India should not mistake our restraint for weakness.” He also said a meeting was needed urgently. He said if India used force in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan would have to answer in self-defense.
Both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons and the two sides have fought two wars over Kashmir.
China also holds a small part of Kashmir. The Chinese government has said it will watch over its interests.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended the actions of his government. He said it would bring wealth to the area and reduce violence.
India celebrates its Independence Day on August 15.
I’m Mario Ritter Jr.
Ayaz Gul reported this story for VOA News. Mario Ritter Jr. adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Words in This Story
assure – v. to tell someone in a very strong and definite way that something will happen or that something is true
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