US President Trump questions Indian PM Modi over Occupied Kashmir crisis

US President Trump questions Indian PM Modi over Occupied Kashmir crisis

NEW YORK - US President Donald Trump asked India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to "fulfill his promise to better the lives of the Kashmiri people", the White House said in a statement after the two leaders met on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

India and Pakistan have contended for the Kashmir region — the southern part of which lies in India's Jammu and Kashmir state — since the end of British rule in 1947. Despite a ceasefire reached in 2003 after several armed conflicts instability remained.

Tensions increased earlier in August after India revoked the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir state. Under the government’s new initiative, Jammu and Kashmir will be divided into two union territories that will be under New Delhi control.

Pakistan reacted angrily to India downgrading the Muslim-majority region to a territory and promised to protect Kashmiris. Islamabad expelled the Indian ambassador, halted bilateral trade and promised to raise the issue with the International Court of Justice.

On Monday, Trump discussed withPakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan possible ways to de-escalate existing tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi. Trump and Khan also talked about efforts to combat terrorism and the importance of an Indo-Pakistani dialogue to resolve disputes, according to the White House.