UK not to meddle in Kashmir issue, back bilateral talks
London: Britain has ruled out any third party intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue saying that it was for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
A strong plea by Lord Nazir Ahmed, who was born in PoK, in the House of Lords last night in favour of a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir elicited no support from the government.
Lord Ahmed had initiated a short debate on Kashmir to ask the government whether it supported the peace process between India and Pakistan to resolve all disputes, "including regarding the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir."
He said the issue should be resolved before the international community withdrew from Afghanistan as he apprehended that "Kashmir may give extremists a rallying point."
Replying to the debate, Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Warsi said, "On Kashmir, our position has always been that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation there, which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people."
"However, I believe that any attempts by the United Kingdom or third parties, however well intentioned, to mediate or prescribe solutions would hinder progress. It is for the two countries to move towards resolving these issues directly. That is why successive British Governments, including the previous Labour Government, have taken the position that they have," she said.
Indian origin peer Lord Swraj Paul, who was unable to participate in the debate said in a statement that it will not be advisable for Britain or any other power to meddle in the Kashmir dispute and it has to be settled bilaterally between India and Pakistan.
"I think it is not advisable for Britain, or any other power, to meddle in this dispute. I have no doubt that Her Majesty's Government supports the Indo-Pak peace process to resolve all outstanding disputes bilaterally and peacefully," Lord Paul said.