Pakistan halts final rail link with India in Kashmir dispute
Iran Press TV
Fri Aug 9, 2019 02:24PM
Pakistan has decided to suspend the last rail link to India in reaction to New Delhi's revocation of the autonomy of the disputed Kashmir region.
"We have decided to shut down the Thar Express as well," Pakistan's Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said at a press conference on Friday, in reference to the weekly service running between Pakistan's Khokrapar Town and India's Monabao.
"As long as I am railways minister, no train will operate between Pakistan and India," he added.
The minister had on Thursday announced the suspension of the Samjhauta Express, the train that ran to India's capital, New Delhi, from the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.
The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the special status of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Monday, in a move described by Pakistan as "illegal." A curfew was also imposed in the Muslim-majority region and thousands of additional paramilitary troops were deployed.
The government eased some restrictions on Friday to allow the Muslim residents to perform Friday prayers.
There have been no major protests, but resentment against the decision has reportedly been building.
"There is a lull right now... [but] the situation can go out of control," a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
"Every time we have embraced India, they have cut our throats," read a handwritten poster at one mosque, which also called on Kashmiris to stage protests after the prayers on Monday.
Bangladeshis protest against India's decision
Meanwhile, Bangladeshi Muslims took to the streets of the capital, Dhaka, on Friday to protest against India's decision on Kashmir.
Activists led by the Kashmir Solidarity Council Bangladesh gathered outside the national mosque, the Baitul Mukarram, in Dhaka after Friday prayers, chanting slogans and carrying banners against the Indian government and calling for freedom in Kashmir.
They said that India's decision on the region and the curfew imposed on its residents were likely to encourage liberation movements all over India and in Kashmir.
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