Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan used an address celebrating Independence Day yesterday to criticise India for its actions in the Kashmir region that has long been a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
India revoked the special status of its portion of Kashmir, known as Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5.
Islamabad retaliated by suspending bilateral trade and all public transport links with India, as well as expelling New Delhi’s ambassador to Islamabad.
“Independence Day is an opportunity for great happiness, but today we are saddened by the plight of our Kashmiri brothers in occupied Jammu and Kashmir who are victims of Indian oppression,” Khan said in a
“I assure my Kashmiri brothers that we stand with them,” he said.
In Islamabad, posters urged residents to express solidarity with Kashmiris and roadside vendors sold Azad Kashmir flags as well as the Pakistan flag commonly displayed on August 14.
Pakistan’s government has also said India’s Independence Day, which falls on August 15, will be observed as a “Black Day” this year, with flags on government buildings flown at half-mast to protest against India’s decision.