The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said on Friday (August 16) that members of the Security Council generally feel India and Pakistan should both refrain from unilateral action over Kashmir.

Zhang told reporters that the situation in Kashmir is “already very tense and very dangerous.”
Authorities, for their part, said they will begin restoring some telephone lines in Indian Kashmir from Friday night, including in the main city of Srinagar where afternoon prayers went peacefully amid heavy security, the top state official said.

Telephone and internet links were cut and public assembly banned in Kashmir just before New Delhi removed the decades-old autonomy the Muslim majority territory enjoyed under the Indian constitution.

The measures were aimed at preventing protests.

India has battled a 30-year revolt in Jammu and Kashmir in which at least 50 000 people have been killed.

Critics say the decision to revoke the region’s autonomy will cause further alienation and fuel the armed resistance.

Security forces were deployed outside mosques across Srinagar on Friday, while police vans fitted with speakers asked people not to venture out, according to two Reuters witnesses.

Hundreds of political leaders and activists remain in detention, some of them in prisons outside Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 52 politicians, most of them belonging to the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party regional parties, are being held at a hotel on the banks of Srinagar’s Dal lake.

A senior government official said authorities had booked 58 rooms in the hotel. “These leaders are locked inside the hotel rooms but are allowed to meet at dinner and lunch only in a dining hall,” the official said, who declined to be identified.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has said the revocation of Kashmir’s special status was necessary to ensure its full integration into India and speed up development.

The move has raised tensions on the heavily militarised border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, where Islamabad said three of its soldiers were killed in cross-border firing.

Pakistan summoned India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad to condemn what it said were “unprovoked ceasefire violations”.

India has accused Pakistan of violating the ceasefire.