Article 370 abrogation: Russian Federation backs India on Jammu and Kashmir issue

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She further said the move was in the wake of the Indian government's decision to scrap Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India but is claimed in full by the two nuclear-armed powers, which have fought two wars over the region since partition in 1947.

A border known as a Line of Control (LOC) divides the portions of Kashmir controlled by India and Pakistan.

The indefinite 24-hour curfew was briefly eased on Friday for weekly Muslim prayers in some parts of Srinagar, the region's main city, but thousands of residents are still forced to stay indoors with shops and most health clinics closed. Television images from the city showed small groups praying in mosques. It's something that we've called for calm and restraint by all parties.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, played down the unrest, which he suggested was temporary.

The restrictions on public movement throughout Kashmir have forced people to stay indoors and closed shops and even clinics.

"There were around 10,000 people at the protest in Soura", the police officer said.

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Jama Masjid has been an epicenter of regular anti-India protests after Friday prayers.

The decision of the government to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories has also been challenged.

Beijing has condemned India's actions as a threat to its own territorial sovereignty, but stressed that India and Pakistan must peacefully resolve the dispute through dialogue. So, I would like to believe that they will continue to do it and recently there have been certain statements that have come out in which they are threatening about certain events in the valley.

Mohammed Ashfaq, a 30-year-old tailor, said the government has imposed a dictatorship, since it didn't discuss the issue with the Kashmiri people. Asked if US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had reached out to his counterparts in India and Pakistan since the revocation, Ms Ortagus said Mr Pompeo met the Indian foreign policy chief in Bangkok recently and "he speaks with his counterparts on a daily basis". Beijing too denied any support to Islamabad and told Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who air-dashed there to seek its support on Kashmir, that it regarded both India and Pakistan as "friendly neighbours" and wants them to resolve the issue through United Nations resolutions and the Simla agreement. One youth died this week after jumping in a river to escape security forces, according to police. Hundreds of activists held similar peaceful rallies across Pakistan.

Before leaving for Beijing, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he will apprise Islamabad's "trusted friend" about the situation.

In response to India's action, Pakistan on Wednesday said it would downgrade its diplomatic ties with India, expel the Indian ambassador and suspend bilateral trade.

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