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International relations

India and Pakistan tug-of-war in South Asia grows over Kashmir

As smaller nations try to avoid trouble, experts see New Delhi having the edge

The Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir has been under a military clampdown since New Delhi scrapped its special constitutional status on Aug. 5.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- South Asia's smaller countries are caught in the diplomatic crossfire as India and Pakistan tussle over Kashmir, a disputed region that has been under a military lockdown for over three weeks after India's Hindu nationalist government imposed a new political order.

Sri Lanka and the Maldives have had to tread a fine line since New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, with both countries releasing statements saying the end of decades of autonomy in the predominantly Muslim region was largely an internal matter for India. That caution has slowed Islamabad's effort to bring the matter before the United Nations.

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