UN Security Council to have meeting over Kashmir issue on Friday

Modi put Kashmir at stake for winning elections FM Qureshi

NEW DELHI (AP) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday used an Independence Day speech to defend his decision to strip Kashmir of its special status as about 7 million residents of the disputed region endured an unprecedented security lockdown and communications blackout for an 11th day. "The Pakistan Army has full knowledge that India has made a plan to take action in AJK".

There was no immediate confirmation of the attacks from Indian officials.

Tensions have been rising after India's move. The countries fought a war over Muslim-majority Kashmir which ended in 1948 with a United Nations -brokered cease-fire that left Kashmir divided.

She said that this UNSC's meeting on issue of Kashmir was actually India's defeat on its longstanding claim of Kashmir issue as its internal matter.

The Kashmiri crisis came about just a few weeks after Imran Khan's appeal to Trump last month to help resolve the crisis, which drew ire from Modi's administration. Critics have likened it to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

Gen Bajwa's message, therefore, contained a rejection of the Indian action related to Kashmir, a pledge to support the Kashmiris against Indian oppression, and a signal of the troops' readiness to play their part if the situation so demands. This prompted several wars between India and Pakistan for control of this region - soon after independence in 1948, again in 1965, and most recently in 1999 in Kargil.

"Anti-India rallies followed by protest demonstrations in all small and major cities and towns at both sides of the LoC will be hallmark of the day", a spokesman of the Azad Kashmir government said.

Before the constitutional amendments, Jammu and Kashmir - the only Indian state where Muslims constitute a majority - had special autonomy.

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Army officials confirmed that three Pakistani soldiers had been killed in India's response to firing from across the LoC in the Nowgam sector. "Intermittent exchange of fire continues", without specifying further where the incident took place.

There was no way to independently confirm the claims.

India's move has also risked relations with powerful regional players.

"Most probably on Friday", Wronecka said when asked if the meeting would be scheduled for August 15 or 16.

Pakistanis and residents of Pakistani-administered Kashmir on Thursday observed what they called "the Black Day" in solidarity with Kashmiris in the Indian-controlled portion. The "prime minister" of PoK, Raja Farooq Haider, meanwhile, said at the same session that PoK would soon issue a notification - after bringing a resolution in the assembly - renaming the Line of Control as the "Ceasefire Line", as it was originally known before the 1972 Simla Agreement changed it to "LoC". We will respond and the whole nation will back the battle-hardened Pakistan Army.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir. At this juncture, the USA feels that New Delhi has dented its interests in the region by occupying Kashmir at a time when the U.S.' foreign policy is facing one of the major challenges in the region. "Modi has been a member of RSS from childhood", Khan said. "In the past five years, the cruelty in occupied Kashmir was due to this ideology". I consider it a big miscalculation by Modi.

However, this did not put off the Indian Prime Minister from justifying the decision. There have also been street protests by opposition groups and students in India.

Associated Press writers Aijaz Hussain in Srinagar, India, Mariya Amrayeva in New Delhi and Ahmed Munir in Islamabad contributed.

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