UK doesn’t want to lecture India, Pak: Hague

The UK has ruled out brokering talks between India and Pakistan.

Last Updated: Jun 24, 2010, 13:42 PM IST

Islamabad: After the United States, Britain has also ruled out brokering talks between India and Pakistan to help them resolve the long pending contentious issues between the two South-Asian neighbours.

British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said Britain does not intend to dictate either India or Pakistan over issues that have been lingering between them for decades.

“Britain would not like to lecture either India or Pakistan over how to resolve their contentious issues, as both countries have the ability to resolve it on their own,” The Daily Times quoted Hague, as saying.

Interacting with media persons during a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi here, Hague stressed that Britain’s relationship with Pakistan would not have any effect on its ties with New Delhi.

“Britain has relations with many countries and they do not impact ties with others,” he said.

Commenting on the Afghan crisis, Hague said that Islamabad can play an important role in mediating peace talks between the Taliban and other extremist organisations in Afghanistan and the Karzai government.

“We do want to work together on establishing security, peace and stability in Afghanistan. We recognise Pakistan’s particular interest in that, and we look to work together for an Afghan-led process of reconciliation,” he said.

Hague also said London agreed with Washington that the dreaded Haqqani network was probably irreconcilable with the Afghan government and unlikely to give up its ties with al Qaeda.

“We see Pakistan as a partner in fighting violent extremism,” he told reporters.

Hague also refused to criticise Pakistan for allegations that its intelligence service, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), has deep, active links with the Haqqanis and other elements of the Afghan Taliban, that was working against the United States.

“There is a complex relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We’ve come to Pakistan to work with the ministers of Pakistan, not to criticise them. We feel we are in a shared fight,” the British Secretary of State added.