Protesters rallied in Karachi (Sindh province), Islamabad, and Muzaffarabad (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) on Monday, August 5, to denounce the Indian government's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state (India). Dozens of protesters marched through Muzaffarabad and burned tires in protests on Monday, pledging to continue demonstrations amid heightened tensions. The government of Pakistan indicated it would consider its options to counter the "illegal steps" taken by India, saying the move was in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions applicable to the region.
Similar demonstrations are likely nationwide over the coming weeks, although further details were not immediately made available. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected near all gatherings.
Separatists have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989. Around 70,000 people have been killed and many more injured in related violence, uprisings, and military crackdowns. Indian security personnel have been conducting frequent security operations and have clashed with suspected militants in recent months.
Indian security forces announced on August 1, that an additional 28,000 soldiers have been deployed to the Kashmir Valley. Officials did not provide a reason for the sudden deployment. The Ministry of Home Affairs had previously ordered 10,000 more soldiers to deploy to the region during the previous week to assist in counterterrorism operations.
Following a cabinet meeting on August 5, Home Minister Amit Shah proposed to parliament that Article 370 in the Constitution, which granted Jammu and Kashmir a special status, be revoked. He also proposed that Jammu and Kashmir be reorganized as a Union Territory with an Assembly, and Ladakh be a separate Union Territory with no legislature.
Individuals in Pakistan are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
Some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to parts of Kashmir, notably including areas along the Line of Control (LoC), due to the significant risk of violence.
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