Kashmiris hold placards as they shout slogans at a protest in Srinagar on Friday. Danish Ismail/ Reuters
Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have begun restoring landline phone services after a nearly two-week unprecedented security crackdown and news blackout following a decision to downgrade the majority-Muslim region’s autonomy.
Administrator Shahid Choudhary says restrictions are being lifted in most areas and government offices will open on Saturday for service delivery.
Security forces that blanketed the region remain on high alert as hundreds of people took to the streets for an anti-India protest after Friday prayers in Srinagar, the main city in the divided Himalayan region.
The UN Security Council met to discuss Kashmir for the first time in decades, and Pakistan’s ambassador said the session showed that people in the region “may be locked up ... but their voices were heard today.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan has achieved a biggest success at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as over 50 countries supported Pakistan’s stance on the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).
The premier's message came as the curfew and communications blackout imposed by New Delhi in Kashmir entered its 12th day. Aug.15 is also India's Independence Day, which is being observed as a black day across Pakistan to protest the brutalities in Kashmir.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday the country was considering an approach to the United Nations Security Council after India stripped its portion of contested Kashmir of special status.
The UNSC's Sanctions Committee 1267 made the declaration after China, which had blocked the proposal four times earlier, lifted its "technical hold" amidst intense pressure from the Security Council's other permanent members like the US, the UK and France.
UAE's Embassy in London welcomed over 500 friends from the UK, UAE, and internationally to a grand reception at London’s famed Natural History Museum in South Kensington to commemorate 51 years since the founding of the UAE.
"On this day, we commemorate the bright memory of the Founding Fathers, led by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the Founders of the Nation, as well as their determination, wisdom and vision that established the Union.”
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the 51st UAE National Day is a day to recall lessons of the past, and look at the present with awareness and contemplation, while looking to the future with hope, optimism and confidence.