Pakistan PM Imran Khan calls for nationwide demonstrations over Kashmir

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's renewed calls for protests came as the Pakistani military announced earlier on Aug 28, 2019, the testing of a surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's renewed calls for protests came as the Pakistani military announced earlier on Aug 28, 2019, the testing of a surface-to-surface ballistic missile.PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called on the country on Thursday (Aug 29) to join mass demonstrations to protest against Delhi's actions in Indian-administered Kashmir as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals continued to boil.

"I want all Pakistanis to come out tomorrow 12 noon-12.30pm to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people," Khan wrote on Twitter, adding: "We must send a strong message to Kashmiris that our nation stands resolutely behind them."

The call to join protests on Friday repeated earlier demands from Khan for Pakistanis to begin holding weekly nationwide rallies until the prime minister departs for the United Nations General Assembly next month, where he vowed to act as an ambassador for all Kashmiris.

Tensions have been soaring between Islamabad and Delhi for weeks in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to strip India's portion of Kashmir of its autonomy and bring it under direct rule.

Kashmir has been divided between the two countries since independence, and has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the arch-rivals.

In February, the neighbouring countries again came close to all-out conflict, after a militant attack in Indian-held Kashmir was claimed by a group based in Pakistan, igniting tit-for-tat air strikes.

Khan's renewed calls for protests came as the Pakistani military announced earlier on Thursday the testing of a surface-to-surface ballistic missile, with the army's spokesman saying the weapon was "capable of delivering multiple types of warheads".