Fri, 30 Jul 2021

The United States says it is closely following events in Kashmir after India revoked the special status of the Indian-administered part of the Himalayan region.

'We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge respect for individual rights and discussion with those in affected communities,' U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on August 5.

Ortagus called on "all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control' (LoC) that serves as a de facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all parties to "exercise restraint," his spokesman said.

The spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters that over the past few days the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan 'has observed and reported an increase in military activity" along the highly militarized LoC.

Earlier in the day, India's government moved to revoke Article 370 of the constitution, which guarantees significant autonomy for the Indian side of Kashmir, prompting fears of unrest.

India's decision was accompanied by a telecoms blackout in the Muslim-majority region, restrictions on public movement, and the deployment of thousands of troops.

Pakistan condemned India's move as illegal, saying it would 'exercise all possible options' to counter it.

'India is playing a dangerous game which will have serious consequences for regional peace and stability,' said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

There is a long-running insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan.

Two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since their independence from British rule were over Kashmir.

Based on reporting by AP, BBC, Dawn, and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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