On day 27 of New Delhi's clampdown in Indian-administered Kashmir, tens of thousands of Pakistanis walked out of work and home at 0700 GMT to show solidarity with Kashmiris. Meanwhile, the BBC reported accounts of the Indian army torturing Kashmiris.

Kashmiri men gather at a market near the Line of Control (LoC) – the de facto border between Pakistan and India – in Chakothi sector in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. August 29, 2019.
Kashmiri men gather at a market near the Line of Control (LoC) – the de facto border between Pakistan and India – in Chakothi sector in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. August 29, 2019. (AFP)

Cities around Pakistan came to a standstill on Friday as tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets in a government-led demonstration of solidarity with the disputed region of Kashmir, after India revoked its autonomy this month.

The Pakistani national anthem and an anthem for Kashmir played across television and radio, while traffic came to a standstill, traffic lights were switched off and trains stopped, as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan's campaign to draw global attention to the plight of the divided Himalayan region.

"We are with them in their testing times. The message that goes out of here today is that as long as Kashmiris don't get freedom, we will stand with them," Khan told thousands of demonstrators in the capital, Islamabad.

The Muslim-majority region has long been a flashpoint between nuclear-armed Indian and Pakistan.

Khan earlier called for mass demonstrations across the country to protest against New Delhi's actions in Indian-administered Kashmir, as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals continued to boil.

"We must send a strong message to Kashmiris that our nation stands resolutely behind them," Khan wrote on Twitter.

Khan has asked for weekly nationwide rallies until he leaves for New York next month to attend the United Nations General Assembly, where he vowed to raise the issue.

Shocks and beatings by Indian security forces

In the meantime, BBC reported that Kashmiris accused security forces of beatings and torture after the government's move to strip India's portion of Kashmir of its autonomy.

The BBC said several residents in numerous villages talked of beatings with cables and electric shocks as well as threats to prevent them from protesting.

The Indian army has rejected the allegations while health officials and doctors have refused to speak to journalists, BBC added.

A doctor from Indian-administered Kashmir who spoke to the media earlier was arrested.

Indian security forces arrested Dr Umar for appealing to New Delhi to restore telephone and internet facilities for all hospitals and medical establishments in the region, BBC reported on Monday.

Tensions have soared in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to strip India's portion of Kashmir of its autonomy and bring it under Delhi's direct rule. India and Pakistan both rule parts of disputed Kashmir but claim it in full.

The area is currently in day 27 of a wide-ranging communications blackout with severe restrictions on movement. Thousands of people have been arrested, sources have told AFP. 

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence and has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the arch-rivals.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies