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  1. ITV Report

Pakistan PM Imran Khan says military ready to respond to any Indian attack on Kashmir

  • Video report by ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar

Pakistan's prime minister has warned India against launching an attack on the area of Kashmir administered by his country.

Speaking on the country's independence day, Imran Khan said intelligence forces had credible reason to believe neighbouring India could launch an assault, and his country is "fully prepared to respond".

He said: "India, as you planned to attack on Pakistan-administered Kashmir, once again I warn you, get ready.

"We are fully prepared to respond. The time has come when we will teach [India] a lesson".

Streets in Indian-administered Kashmir are pictured deserted amid a security lockdown. Credit: AP

Mr Khan has strongly condemned India's recent downgrading of Kashmir's status from a state with some autonomy to two territories.

India has followed the change of status with the imposition of an unprecedented security lockdown to try to prevent any violent reaction to change.

Mr Khan earlier expressed solidarity with Kashmiris on the Indian-controlled side of the frontier.

  • Why is there division over the disputed territory?

India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947 when British colonialists left the subcontinent.

The following year, they fought the first of two wars over control of Kashmir, which ended with the region divided between them, although both claim it entirely.

India has maintained an unprecedented security lockdown to try to stave off a violent reaction to Kashmir’s downgraded status. Protests and clashes have occurred daily, though the curfew and communications blackout have meant the reaction is largely subdued.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Khan told lawmakers in Pakistan-administered Kashmir he will step up diplomatic efforts to highlight the issue of Kashmir and expose India's actions in the disputed region.

The country has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, saying the move by India’s Hindu nationalist-led government threatens international peace and could lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Indian Border Officials are pictured protecting the heavily fortified frontier. Credit: AP

Poland holds the council presidency this month and foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz said members would discuss the letter.

Pakistan’s president, celebrating Pakistan’s independence in Islamabad, condemned India’s downgrading of Kashmir’s status as a violation of international law and said Pakistan “will not leave Kashmiri people alone”.

India celebrates its independence on Thursday and is finalising preparations in New Delhi and in Indian-administered Kashmir on the 10th day of a near-total security lockdown in the Himalayan region.

The lockdown is expected to last at least until Thursday.