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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Must take wishes of local people in account to solve Kashmir dispute: UK

The UK government on Wednesday said it was for India and Pakistan to solve the Kashmir issue but the aspiration of the residents of the contested Himalayan region must be taken into account.

The UK reiterated its stance that the situation in Kashmir remains an issue for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the issue.

Responding to a debate held in the House of Parliament complex on the Political situation in Kashmir, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) minister Nigel Adams stressed that it is not for Britain to play any mediatory role in a bilateral matter, even as he accepted there were human rights concerns on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

“The government’s policy [on Kashmir] remains stable, it’s unchanged. We continue to believe that this is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the situation that takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people as laid out in the Simla Agreement,” said Adams, in his capacity as Minister for Asia.

It’s not appropriate for the UK government to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator, he said.

At the end of the debate held at Westminster Hall in the House of Commons, the minister said: “We understand some of these restrictions may have been relaxed, with broadband/internet partially restored along with some access to social media. This is welcome news, but more should be done, he said.

And, responding to issues raised by cross-party MPs around the revocation of Article 370, which led to the creation of Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territories in August 2019, the minister welcomed the release of politicians held in protective custody and reports of broadband restrictions being lifted in the region.

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