Trump speaks with India, Pakistan leaders

Donald Trump has spoken to the leaders of India and Pakistan urging moderation in Kashmir flare-up.
Donald Trump has spoken to the leaders of India and Pakistan urging moderation in Kashmir flare-up.

US President Donald Trump has spoken to both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in separate phone calls in a bid to reduce rising tension between the nuclear powers.

The calls come amid heightened tensions between the South Asian rivals over the disputed territory of Kashmir after India removed its special constitutional status and imposed a security lockdown on the region.

The White House said Trump discussed with Khan the need to "reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric with India" and conveyed "the importance of reducing tensions" in a phone call with Modi.

Pakistan and India control only parts of Kashmir, but each has laid claim to the entire region since they gained independence from Britain in 1947. Another part of Kashmir is controlled by China.

The US has cut aid to Pakistan, its Cold War-era ally, and recently stepped up its relations with India, the rising economic power. Khan was recently at the White House to meet Trump, though the visit did not spark fresh aid flows.

India's removal of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which confers special status on Jammu and Kashmir and gives it a certain amount of autonomy, triggered an escalation in a long-running feud with Pakistan over control of the region.

Australian Associated Press