ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
International relations

Modi and Khan spar over Kashmir in national day speeches

Indian leader claims achievement while Pakistani side declares readiness to fight

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan deliver Independence Day speeches in their respective countries.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The leaders of India and Pakistan amplified their rhetoric over the divided region of Kashmir in Independence Day speeches this week, portending higher tensions following Delhi's revocation of the Indian-controlled side's long-held autonomy.

In his 92-minute speech here Thursday marking the anniversary of independence from British colonial rule, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no direct mention of Pakistan, which has denounced Delhi's move on Kashmir.

But he justified the decision, saying the autonomy had "aggravated separatism and given birth to terrorism," as well as "strengthened the foundations of corruption." Delhi has long accused Pakistan of promoting terrorism.

This followed a warning from Modi's Pakistani counterpart over Kashmir, a flashpoint in relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

"This is my message to you: you take action and every brick will be countered with a stone," Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a speech Wednesday marking Pakistan's Independence Day.

"The army is prepared; not just the army but the entire nation will fight alongside our military," Khan said, according to local media.

Modi, whose Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won spring legislative elections by a wide margin, also revealed plans for a military reorganization to create a central body to coordinate India's army, navy and air force.

"Today we are emphasizing peace and security along with development," he said.

Modi touted the ending of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, which had been guaranteed under India's constitution, as a significant achievement.

"The work that was not done in the last 70 years has been accomplished within 70 days after this new government came to power," he said.

Tensions flared in military action over the region in February, when India conducted airstrikes on the Pakistani side in response to a suicide bombing targeting Indian troops.

India and Pakistan have fought over Kashmir since the partitioning of India when it gained independence in 1947. They went to war over the disputed territory in 1965 and again in 1971.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends April 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media