The United States has called for “peace and stability” along the de facto border that separates India and Pakistan in Kashmir after New Delhi revoked the special status granted to the Indian-administered portion of the disputed territory.
New Delhi’s move on Monday came hours after the Indian government imposed a major security clampdown in the region, with all communication lines suspended and local politicians put under house arrest amid growing tensions following a massive deployment of troops.
Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the US Department of State, said Washington was following events in Indian-administered Kashmir “closely”.
“We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge
respect for individual rights and discussion with those in affected communities,” she said in a statement.
“We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control,” she added, referring to the de facto border.
India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, but administer separate portions of the region since gaining independence from the British in 1947.
The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the territory.
Islamabad has condemned New Delhi’s latest move, with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan saying it “was in clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions” in the region, according to a statement released after a telephone call with Malaysia’s prime minister on Monday evening.
Khan on Sunday had called on India to allow the US to mediate in the dispute.
During a visit by Khan to Washington, DC, last month, US President Donald Trump had offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, an offer that Islamabad welcomed and New Delhi rejected.
“President Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir. This is the time to do so as the situation deteriorates there and along the [Line of Control] with new aggressive actions being taken by Indian occupation forces,” said Khan. “This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis.”