10:44 GMT17 January 2021
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    Imran Khan, who is seeking a closer relationship with Donald Trump, has invited the US president to broker a peace deal with India, but New Delhi insists that he wants to deal with Pakistan without a mediator.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned India against aggravating the Kashmir crisis, saying that the further escalation of tensions in the contested region would leave no winners.

    Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Khan said: "If an acceleration of events towards conflicts does occur, no one will be the victor, and both sides will eventually suffer consequences, as will the entire world."

    The Indian government on Monday decided to strip the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and divide it into two separate union territories.

    "The result of Indian actions will further fuel the fire in Kashmir, as they are watching their inalienable rights and guarantees taken away by brute force," Khan warned, as quoted by Pakistan-based PTV News. "It will exacerbate Kashmiri resistance and create chaos."

    He pledged to "take the case of Kashmir" to the United Nations and complain about what called the "racist" treatment of minorities in India under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    "The world should understand the policy of appeasement will not work," Khan said, referring to Britain's policy towards Nazi Germany prior to WW2. "We beseech the international community to take notice."

    The BJP-led government on Monday, via presidential decree, revoked an article of the national constitution granting special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir residents, including the right to draft their own laws, own property and hold state government positions.

    The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which will be one of two territories replacing the eponymous state, will have a legislative assembly instead of its own, more autonomous Consituent Assembly, while the mountainous region of Ladakh will become a territory without a legislature.

    The Indian-administered part of Kashmir has earlier been placed under security lockdown, with New Delhi deploying thousands of additional troops, imposing curfew-like restrictions on hospitals and educational institutions, suspending communication services, and placing Kashmiri leaders under house arrest.

    The government explained it had intelligence indicating that Pakistan-backed militants were planning an attack on the ongoing pilgrimage, and also told pilgrims and tourists to leave the region.

    India and Pakistan have both layed claims to Kashmir since the end of Britain's rule in 1947, but control only parts of the former state. Jammu and Kashmir – India's only Muslim-majority state – has been a flashpoint of an Islamist insurgency for several decades now. New Delhi accuses Islamabad of supporting terrorists who seek secession from India, which Pakistan denies.

    Pakistan has described India's revocation the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as "unlawful and destabilising", and vowed to "exercise every option" to counter the move.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has earlier said he was willing to have peace talks with India with Donald Trump as a mediator, but New Delhi insists that it will only resolve the matter bilaterally.

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