Pakistan to close its airspace for Indian flights as Kashmir tension escalates

epa000292785 Pakistan Air Force F-16 parked at Pakistan Air Force F-16s at Konya Air Base,150 miles (230 KM) south of Ankara, Turkey, Monday 11 October 2004. Six Pakistan Air Force F-16s left Turkey for their home base in Pakistan after completing their first multi-national air exercise with 80 airforce carriers from Turkey, the United States Air Force, Italy, Germany and NATO for nearly 30 years. EPA/ISPR EPA/INTER SERVICES PUBLIC RELATIONS BEST QUALITY AVAILBE

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Pakistan plans to close its airspace to Indian flights as part of retaliatory measures over New Delhi’s move to strip its portion of Kashmir of autonomy, local media reports say.

Pakistan is also looking to downgrade its relations with India, raise its alert status and is considering more retaliatory measures.

On Monday, India dropped a constitutional provision for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has long been a flashpoint in ties with Pakistan, to make its own laws.

Pakistan protest against India for repealing special status of disputed Kashmir
 People burn a poster of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a protest after the Indian government removed the special constitutional semi-autonomous status granted to the region of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim, in Peshawar, Pakistan. EPA-EFE/ARSHAD ARBAB

Pakistani PM Imran Khan has vowed to fight India’s decision to revoke Indian-administered Kashmir’s autonomy, including at the UN Security Council.

Khan said the move was in breach of international law, adding that he feared ethnic cleansing by India.

The region remains locked down, a day after India announced the move.

The Himalayan region of Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, but each country controls only part of it.

The Guardian reports that the diplomatic turmoil caused by the move, resulted in China also saying it opposed India’s decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir, adding that it undermined China’s territorial sovereignty.

The contested region is divided between India, which controls Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated region around Jammu city, Pakistan, which controls territory in the west, and China, which holds a thinly populated area in the north.

On Monday, Washington called for calm along the border that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India.

 

 

Via EurAsian Times / BBC / The Dawn / The Guardian

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