India dismissive of UK lawmakers discussing Kashmir

 India today dismissed the discussion on Kashmir by UK lawmakers, saying gone are the days when a group of "disparate individuals" decided the destinies of countries far away from their shore.

New Delhi: India today dismissed the discussion on Kashmir by UK lawmakers, saying gone are the days when a group of "disparate individuals" decided the destinies of countries far away from their shore.

Noting that the topic of discussion was an "internal" matter of India, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "We also would like to make it very clear that gone are the days when a group of disparate individuals decide the destinies of countries far away from their shore".

He said India was confident that it can decide on all issues related to it and, "Therefore, we have refrained from commenting on disparate individuals who may want to articulate their views on matters which we consider to be internal to us."

During the debate yesterday in the UK Parliament complex, a group of cross-party lawmakers said a resolution to the Kashmir dispute was crucial for world peace and advocated "right to self-determination" for Kashmiris, a stance opposed by many others including Britain's former minister in charge of business engagement with India, Gregory Barker MP.

Representing the UK government's view, Barker said, "There is a democratic process in place and around 61 per cent of the population participated in state elections in the region, which sits as part of the world's largest democracy. Any British insertion will be very unhelpful....".

His views were echoed by Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who likened the discussion to the ongoing debate around Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom.

"This is almost akin to the Lok Sabha debating the merits and de-merits of Scottish independence," Gardiner said.

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