Pakistanis hoist miles-long Kashmir flag in solidarity march

Pakistanis hoist miles-long Kashmir flag in solidarity march
People carry a five kilometer, or about three mile, long representation of a Kashmiri flag during a rally to express solidarity with Indian Kashmiris, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. Tensions between Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed countries, has increased since Aug. 5, when India downgraded the autonomy of its side of Kashmir and imposed tighter controls on the area. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A giant Kashmiri flag has been unfurled by thousands of Pakistani demonstrators, stretching five kilometers (three miles) through the streets of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

The solidarity protest is meant to draw attention to Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region that remains divided between India and Pakistan but is claimed by both in its entirety.

Sunday’s demonstration drew around 3,000 people. They chanted slogans in support of Kashmiris facing an ongoing lockdown by India, which stripped the region of its semi-autonomy in early August.

The Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami also organized a pro-Kashmir rally in the garrison city of Abbottabad, which was attended by thousands.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1947.