Pakistan has reportedly ordered the suspension of rail services to India on Thursday, August 8, in response to the Indian government's decision to revoke the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir state (India). The government has also banned Indian films from Pakistan as it seeks to increase diplomatic pressure on the Indian government.
The developments are likely to lead to demonstrations denouncing the Kashmir status change over the coming hours and days. 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.
Following a cabinet meeting on August 5, Indian 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.
Pakistan responded on August 7-8 by downgrading diplomatic relations with India, restricting its airspace to Indian carriers, and suspending bilateral trade between the two states.
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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