Delhi is stamping its authority over its share of the disputed border territory amid claims of human rights abuses such as state-sponsored violence and arbitrary detentions. Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, who serves as Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan’s special assistant for citizens overseas, said: “We’re extremely concerned that this could snowball into a nuclear war, you have two nuclear countries. We’re extremely worried about an escalation.”
Kashmir has been at the centre of three out of four major wars between India and Pakistan since their 1947 partition by the UK.
The border is defined by the Line of Control along the the Himalayan valley but long-running territorial claims have never been settled and deadly clashes have continued on both sides.
Tensions boiled over in February when a a deadly attack by a Pakistani-based terror group led to cross-border airstrikes and fears of all-out war.
Indian prime minster Narendra Modi has now launched a crackdown in the disputed region by revoking laws that gave special autonomous status to India-administered Kashmir, the country’s only majority-Muslim state, and sending in security forces to quell any unrest.
Mr Bukhari said: “It has gone from bad to worse. Modi has put everyone on a 24/7 lockdown.”
Amnesty International India has branded it “a blatant abuse of the law by the Indian government and latest in the series of human rights violations taking place in Kashmir”.
A spokesman said: “The continuation of draconian laws against political dissidents despite promises of change signals a dishonest intent on part of the Indian Government.
“The Public Safety Act has long history of being misused in India-administered Kashmir.
“It has been more than 40 days since Kashmir has been under a blackout.
“Thousands of political leaders, activists and journalists continue to be silenced through administrative detention laws which run counter to international human rights standards.”