The Latest: Spokesman says Trump spoke with Pakistan’s PM

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Indian paramilitary soldiers inside an armored vehicle keep vigil during security lockdown in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended his government’s controversial measure to strip the disputed Kashmir region of its statehood and special constitutional provisions in an Independence Day speech Thursday, as about 7 million Kashmiris stayed indoors for the 11th day of an unprecedented security lockdown and communications blackout. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Latest on India revoking status of Indian-administered Kashmir (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

A spokesman says President Donald Trump spoke with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said the two leaders also discussed building on the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan, citing the momentum created during their recent meeting at the White House.

Earlier Friday The U.N. Security Council met behind closed doors for the first time in decades on Jammu and Kashmir.

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11:02 p.m.

India’s U.N. ambassador says the country’s recent actions, which downgraded Kashmir’s autonomy, are “entirely an internal matter” with “no external ramifications.”

Syed Akbaruddin dismissed comments by Pakistan and China on Friday after the first U.N. Security Council meeting on Kashmir in decades that the issue is international, insisting it is bilateral.

He said India is committed to the 1972 Simla agreement saying Kashmir’s final status should be resolved peacefully by India and Pakistan. But he dismissed a 1948 Security Council resolution promising a U.N.-sponsored referendum on Kashmir’s “final disposition.

“Every new agreement overtakes the past,” Akbaruddin said. “We are committed to the Simla agreement. It’s now for Pakistan to make that commitment, too — stop terror to start talks.”

Akbaruddin reiterated the government’s commitment “to gradually removing all restrictions” it imposed after revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status, calling the measures “preventive” and “designed to stop terrorists from bleeding our people.”

Questioned about a U.N. human rights report accusing Indian soldiers of rights violations, Akbaruddin said: “We don’t need international busybodies to try and tell us how to run our lives. We are a billion plus people … (with) a commitment to democracy.”

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10:40 p.m.

Pakistan’s foreign minister says U.S. President Donald Trump has told Islamabad that he will talk to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of Kashmir.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Trump gave this assurance to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan during a telephone conversation Friday.

He also described the meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Kashmir a diplomatic win for his country, saying the meeting was convened to discuss the issue of Kashmir despite India’s opposition.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, in televised comments at the end of the meeting of U.N. Security Council said “the voice of the Kashmiri people, the voice of the people of occupied Kashmir has been heard today in the highest diplomatic forum of the world.

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9:30 p.m.

The U.N. Security Council met behind closed doors for the first time in decades on Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan’s U.N. ambassador says the session showed that people in the region “may be locked up … but their voices were heard today at the United Nations.”

Maleeha Lodhi told reporters after Friday’s council consultations, which focused on India’s recent downgrading of Kashmir’s autonomy, that “this is the first and not the last step” and “It will only end when justice is done to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“This is the first time in over 50 years that this issue has been deliberated upon by the Security Council,” Lodhi said. “I think this meeting nullifies India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter for India.”

The Security Council took no action during the closed meeting, which was called for by China and Pakistan.

Chinese U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun said council members expressed “serious concern” at the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir including “about the human rights situation there.”

“It’s the general view of members that parties concerned should refrain from taking any unilateral action which might further aggravate the tension there, since the tension is already very tense and very dangerous,” he said.

He said the international community’s consensus is that the status of Kashmir is undecided, it is “an internationally recognized dispute” and should be resolved peacefully in accordance with the U.N. Charter, U.N. Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

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8:20 p.m.

Pakistan’s prime minister has discussed the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan shared his concern with Trump that the situation in Kashmir posed a danger to the region.

He said Khan’s conversation with Trump on Friday was part of his outreach to world leaders about developments in disputed Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan.

Khan did not describe Trump’s response.

Last week, India revoked Indian-administered Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgraded its statehood.

Khan’s conversation with Trump came ahead of a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Kashmir.

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8:15 p.m.

Hundreds of people have held a street protest in Indian-controlled Kashmir as India’s government assured the Supreme Court that the situation in the disputed region is being reviewed daily and unprecedented security restrictions will be removed over the next few days.

Carrying green Islamic flags and placards reading “Stop Genocide in Kashmir, Wake Up World,” young and old people took to the streets in Srinagar, the region’s main city, after Friday prayers.

Some hurled stones and clashed with security forces, who responded with tear gas.

Earlier Friday, a senior Indian official in Kashmir, B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, confirmed there would some loosening of restrictions on the region’s residents, saying that landline phone services would be restored gradually beginning Friday night and schools reopened from Monday.

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8 p.m.

The U.N. Security Council is meeting behind closed doors to discuss the situation in Kashmir for the first time in decades at the request of China and Pakistan following India’s revocation of the region’s special constitutional status and downgrading of its statehood.

The U.N.’s most powerful body was being briefed Friday morning by Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco and Gen. Carlos Humberto Loitey, the U.N. military adviser.

U.N. officials said the council session may be its first on Kashmir since the late 1990s, or possibly since the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters as he headed into the meeting that Moscow is concerned about the latest developments, but he said it is “a bilateral issue.”

Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said in a statement that council members “need to remember that their mandate is to protect international peace and security — and they should seek to resolve the situation in a way that puts the human rights of the people in this troubled region at its center.”

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12:15 p.m.

A lawyer for a Kashmiri newspaper editor says India’s top court has heard petitions challenging the revoked status and lockdown in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The court gave no immediate ruling after hearing the petitions Friday. The petitions were filed by advocate M.L. Sharma and by Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin.

Vrinda Grover, the attorney for Bhasin, said the government assured the court that the ground situation in Kashmir was being reviewed daily and that the restrictions will be removed over the next few days. Grover said the judges decided to give the government more time.

The lockdown now in its 12th day includes a near-constant curfew and a news blackout in the disputed Himalayan region. Some analysts have said the revoked status was illegal because it was done without Kashmiri representation.

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Noon

The family of a Kashmiri journalist working with a regional English daily says he has been detained by Indian armed forces.

Irfan Amin Malik is 26 and works for Greater Kashmir, one of the largest circulating newspapers in the region.

Malik’s father Mohammed Amin Malik told The Associated Press that Malik was taken into custody late Wednesday night at his house in Tral in Pulwama, a southern district in Kashmir. He said, “We are worried about our son.”

Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said he was looking into the case. Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh declined to comment on the issue.

Malik’s is the first detention of a journalist in the region since India decided to revoke Kashmir’s special constitutional status on Aug. 5.

Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan and divided between them.

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9:30 a.m.

Pakistan’s military says Indian troops have fired across the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region, killing another soldier and bringing the death toll to six in less than 24 hours.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor in a tweet Friday said “another brave son of soil lost his life in the line of duty” in Buttal town.

Pakistan’s military and police said Thursday that Indian firing killed two civilians and three soldiers in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, which is split between the nuclear-armed rivals and claimed by both in its entirety.

New Delhi downgraded the autonomy of the part of Kashmir it controls last week and imposed a lockdown now in place for a 12th day.

India’s top court on Friday will hear petitions challenging the revoked status.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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