MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) — The Latest on India’s decision to downgrade Kashmir’s status (all times local):
The leader of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir says his government will no longer recognize a decades-old border after India stripped the portion of the disputed Himalayan region it administers of its statehood in a surprise move in Parliament last week.
The Line of Control was brokered to end a 1971 war between India and Pakistan. Both claim Kashmir in its entirety but agreed at the time to respect the status quo that it was split between them.
Raja Farooq Haider says he will instead interpret the border as a cease-fire line, which if crossed by Indian forces would constitute an act of war.
However, without an army of its own, Haider’s government has no power to enforce the change.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry says it has summoned an Indian diplomat to protest the killing of a civilian by Indian fire in disputed Kashmir.
The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that a 38-year-old villager was killed Tuesday by an “unprovoked cease-fire violation by Indian troops on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.”
Pakistan and India often trade fire in Kashmir, but it was the first known such killing of a Pakistani since Aug. 5, when India changed the status of the Himalayan region, increasing tension between Pakistan and India.
Pakistan says Indian troops have “continuously been targeting civilian-populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons, which still continues.” Pakistan says India has committed 1,970 cease-fire violations since 2017 in Kashmir.
India also accuses Pakistan of frequent cease-fire violations.
Pakistan’s prime minister has warned India against any attack on Pakistan-administered Kashmir to divert attention from human rights violations in the Indian-controlled portion of the Himalayan region.
Imran Khan said Wednesday that his country has credible intelligence that India could launch an attack and that Pakistan is “fully prepared to respond.”
Pakistan has strongly condemned India’s recent downgrading of Kashmir’s status from a state with some autonomy to two territories.
India has imposed an unprecedented security lockdown to try to prevent any violent reaction to Kashmir’s downgraded status.
Khan told lawmakers in Pakistan-administered Kashmir that he will step up diplomatic efforts to highlight the issue of Kashmir and expose Indian actions in the disputed region.
Pakistan’s president has condemned India’s downgrading of Kashmir’s status as a violation of international law and says Pakistan “will not leave Kashmiri people alone.”
President Arif Alvi made his remarks Wednesday while hoisting Pakistan’s flag at a government building in Islamabad to start celebrations of the country’s Independence Day. Prime Minister Imran Khan traveled to Pakistan’s portion of divided Kashmir to express solidarity with Kashmiris on the Indian side.
Alvi said he was sad over seeing Indian atrocities in Indian-administered Kashmir and that Muslims don’t want war but “if the war is imposed on us, we will not step back.”
Pakistan has asked the U.N. Security Council to meet on the issue.
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.
In his statement Wednesday, Imran Khan condemned New Delhi’s decision Aug. 5 to downgrade Kashmir’s status, as he began celebrations marking Pakistan’s independence day.
Khan 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 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. It ended with the region divided between them though both claim it entirely.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.