- Title: Pakistan's Imran Khan claims India of planning military action in Kashmir
- Date: 14th August 2019
- Summary: MUZAFFARABAD, AZAD KASHMIR, PAKISTAN (AUGUST 14, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS WATCHING KHAN'S SPEECH ON TV
- Embargoed: 28th August 2019 15:20
- Keywords: Pakistan Imran Khan India Kashmir
- Location: MUZAFFARABAD, AZAD KASHMIR, PAKISTAN
- City: MUZAFFARABAD, AZAD KASHMIR, PAKISTAN
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA006AS6X5JB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan used an address celebrating Independence Day on Wednesday (August 14) to accuse India of planning military action in the disputed Kashmir region that has long been a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
India revoked the special status of its portion of Himalayan Kashmir, known as Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5 and moved to quell widespread unrest by shutting down communications and clamping down on freedom of movement.
Islamabad retaliated by suspending bilateral trade and all public transport links with India, as well as expelling New Delhi's ambassador to Islamabad.
On Wednesday, Khan traveled to Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Kashmir, the Pakistan-administered part of the region, making his first visit there since becoming Pakistan's leader in 2018. In a speech, he told the region's parliament that India planned more extensive action than that of February, when its fighter jets struck inside Pakistan, following a dramatic escalation in tension between the rivals.
"They have made a more horrendous plan to divert world attention from their move in Kashmir, they plan action in Azad Kashmir," Khan said, adding that he believed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "committed a strategic blunder".
Representatives of India's armed forces and its foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Khan's remarks.
India rules the populous Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated region around Jammu city, while Pakistan controls Azad Kashmir, a wedge of territory in the west. China holds a thinly populated high-altitude area in the north.
(Production: Waheed Kiyani, Salah Uddin, Sheree Sardar, Hywel Davies)
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