Islamabad: Pakistan observed a ‘Black Day’ on Thursday to coincide with India’s Independence Day celebrations, in protest at New Delhi’s decision to revoke special status for its portion of the contested Kashmir region.
India’s decision this month, along with a communications blackout and curbs on the movement of those in Indian-administered Kashmir, caused fury in Pakistan, which cut trade and transport links and expelled India’s envoy in retaliation.
Newspapers in Pakistan printed editions with black borders on Thursday and politicians, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, replaced their social media pictures with black squares.
Imran Khan in tweets blasted the Narendra Modi-led Indian government for extra troops and lockdown of Kashmir, comparing it to “earlier Modi’s Gujarat”.
Protests are due to be held across Pakistan, including Azad Kashmir, the wedge of territory in the west of the region that Pakistan controls.
In his Independence Day speech in the Indian capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the decision to remove the special rights of the Muslim-majority region among the bold moves of his second term, following an election victory in May.
“Today every Indian can proudly say ‘One Nation, One Constitution’,” Modi, speaking from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, said of the decision.