Pakistani PM Imran Khan expected to make Kashmir policy announcement

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a policy statement on Kashmir today during his public address at Muzaffarabad, the

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Photo: AFP

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a policy statement on Kashmir today during his public address at Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistan-administered territory of Kashmir.

The Hindu-nationalist Indian government had placed the Indian-administered territory of Kashmir under a military lockdown and implemented a communications blackout amid fears of unrest in advance of parliament downgrading the territory from a state to two federally administered territories.

Pakistan has accused New Delhi of fostering torture, rape, and food and medicine shortages in the region during the blackout. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned on Tuesday that India’s “illegal occupation” of the Muslim-majority Kashmir region could drive the two nuclear-armed countries “into an accidental war”.

While India has vowed to restore partial telephone communications in the disputed region, it will likely do little to ease tensions between India and Pakistan. Indeed, Pakistan is already floating the idea that India could attack the Pakistan-administered portion of Kashmir by staging an attack in the India-controlled part to divert international attention from human rights violations. Should such an attack occur—whether a false flag or legitimate attack—there could be a significant escalation in the dispute, increasing the likelihood of prolonged border skirmishes between the two nuclear powers.

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