Pak to observe its Independence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day

10ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will observe its Independence Day on August 14 as Kashmir Solidarity Day, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday, amidst tensions with India after it revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

On Monday, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and decided to bifurcate the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, a move which drew a sharp reaction from Pakistan.

Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic ties and snapped trade relations with India, besides suspending the Samjhauta Express and Thar Express train services between the two countries.

Qureshi said this year Pakistan will celebrate its Independence Day to express solidarity with Kashmiri people.

The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi said on Friday it is time for Pakistan to see the new reality and stop interfering in the internal matters of India.

“From their side, they would like to project a panic situation, the international community does not think there is a war-like situation. It is a ploy to deflect attention…It is time for Pakistan to see the new reality and stop interfering in the internal matters of India,” it said.

He said due to curfew and clampdown in the Valley, all the countries have issued travel advisories consequently; business of tourism has been shut down.

His comments came on the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid-ul Azha.

Ahead of Eid-ul Azha, restrictions were eased in Kashmir allowing people to come out to shop, while the administration said it was taking steps to facilitate availability of food and other items and offering of prayers in mosques on Monday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday on Twitter that India’s move was an attempt to change the demographics of Kashmir by introducing Hindu supremacy to the Muslim-majority area and urged the international community to take notice. PTI

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