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Trump calls Imran & Modi, urges calm over Kashmir

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News Desk |

U.S. President Donald Trump urged the leaders of Pakistan and India to diffuse tensions during separate telephone calls Monday amid tensions over India-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also claims part of the contested region.

Trump said his discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Premier Imran Khan focused on a series of topics, including the “tough situation” in Kashmir, describing the conversations as “good”.

“Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Read more: Dr. Firdous: Pakistani Media must counter Indian Propaganda on Kashmir

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163597488173060102

The White House earlier released separate readouts of the calls with similar language. “The US president conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between India and Pakistan and maintaining peace in the region.” White House spokesperson Hoga Gidley had said regarding Trump’s call with Modi.

Pakistan and India to diffuse tensions during separate telephone calls Monday amid tensions over India-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

PM Imran Khan and President Trump had also spoken on the phone on August 16, where Khan had taken the US leader into confidence prior to the United Nations Security Council meeting on occupied Kashmir.

The UNSC meeting did not give a joint statement, but participants including the permanent members had stressed the need to implement UN resolutions on Kashmir in a big diplomatic win for Pakistan. Tensions between Pakistan and India have flared following New Delhi’s scrapping of the special status of the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir region.

Read more: Qureshi challenges Modi: Test your popularity with a referendum in Kashmir

The India-administered region has been facing a clampdown since Aug. 5, when the Indian government nixed Article 370 of the Indian constitution which conferred a special status on it. Hundreds of people, mostly political leaders, have been detained or arrested by authorities since the Indian Parliament made the move.

Modi’s government also restricted freedom of movement in the region and cut the internet and phone lines. Kashmiri leaders and residents fear the move is an attempt by India to change the demography of the state, where some groups have been fighting Indian rule for either independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

PM Khan has repeatedly compared the Modi-led BJP government as a reincarnation of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also claims part of the contested region.

Read more: UN Security Council and Kashmir – What does the future hold?

Kashmir has also been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals, most recently in February when they conducted tit-for-tat airstrikes.

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