Britain wants India, Pak to find lasting resolution of Kashmir

Toronto: UK supports a negotiated settlement of Kashmir that is in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people; London also continues to monitor developments in Kashmir closely.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) thanks Mr Mushtaq A. Jeelani, Executive Director of Peace and Justice Forum (PJF), for his letter to British Prime Minister Mr David Cameron regarding the unresolved Kashmir issue.

“As you know the long standing position of the UK is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation in Kashmir, one which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. It is not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to mediate in finding one. We welcome the positive steps being taken by Pakistan and India to build trust and confidence, the scope and pace of these discussions is for India and Pakistan to decide,” states FCO. 

“We recognise that there are human rights concerns in both Indian and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. We will continue to monitor developments in Kashmir closely and our High Commissions in New Delhi and Islamabad regularly raise concerns about human rights situation on both sides of the Line of Control,” says FCO.

“The British Government is aware that in Indian administered Kashmir, the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) provide for detention/house arrest without trial for up to two years,” maintains FCO.

“During India’s UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review in May 2012, Britain enquired about Indian government’s response to concerns previously raised about their domestic security legislation. We have also raised our concerns about India’s domestic security legislation through the EU-India human rights dialogue and will look to do so again at the next dialogue,” affirms FCO.

“Your [PJF] letter also raises the treatment of women in Kashmir. The British Government is committed to improving the rights of women and girls around the world, including in India through DFID [Department for International Development] where we target the most critical stage of woman’s life – adolescence – where vulnerability is high and opportunities to break the cycle of discrimination and poverty are greatest,” concludes FCO.

 

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