India arrests over 500 as Kashmir clampdown challenged

Joanna Estrada
August 8, 2019

Pakistan on Wednesday announced that it will downgrade the diplomatic relations and suspend bilateral trade with India, after the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370, Article 35A and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).

On Tuesday, Imran Khan, addressing a joint session of the National Assembly, had said that Pulwama-like attacks can follow the revocation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, which can lead to a war between India and Pakistan.

Indian security forces have arrested more than 500 people since New Delhi imposed a communications blackout and security clampdown in divided Kashmir, where people remained holed up in their homes for a fourth day.

US Senator Lindsey Graham spoke to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday about India's move to strip occupied Kashmir of its special status and the deteriorating tensions in the disputed valley.

The decision follows the meeting of the National Security Committee at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's Office on the same day over India's decision to abrogate Article 370 that accorded J&K special status.

Pakistan and India diplomatic relations have been suspended previously in 1965 and 1971.

Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates have also stated that it as an internal matter.

Pakistan has long called for people in the Indian-controlled part to be allowed to vote on their political future. They carried their belongings on their heads and under their arms, tied in bedsheets. "The contacts are on", he said.

The resolution urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to constitute a commission of inquiry to investigate gross and consistent human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) being committed by the occupation forces with impunity.

India and Pakistan - who both possess nuclear weapons - have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

Last week, New Delhi said it thwarted an "infiltration" attempt by Pakistani militants in Kashmir, with several cross-border shelling and gunfights taking place between the Pakistani and Indian troops.

As per reports, a Pakistan minister had asked for diplomatic ties with India to be terminated.

Experts have predicted the move will trigger conflict with Pakistan, which has a competing claim to Muslim-majority Kashmir, and reignite an insurgency that has already cost tens of thousands of lives.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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