he United Kingdom on Wednesday said that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir remains a matter for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution, reported PTI.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Minister Nigel Adams said that it was not for Britain to play a role in the bilateral matter, but accepted that there were human rights concerns on both sides.
“The government’s policy [on Kashmir] remains stable, it’s unchanged,” Adams said during a discussion in the House of Parliament complex on the political situation in Kashmir. “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.”
Adams, who is also the minister for Asia, made a reference to the District Development Council democratic elections held in the area in December. Labour Party MP Barry Gardiner witnessed free and fair participation of over 50% of the local voters.
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On the Indian government’s August 5, 2019, decision to scrap Article 370 that granted special to the erstwhile state, Adams said that he welcomed the release of politicians held in protective custody and reports of broadband restrictions being lifted in the region.
“We understand some of these restrictions may have been relaxed, with broadband partially restored along with some access to social media,” he said. “This is welcome news, but more should be done.”
The debate, organised by Labour MP Sarah Owen, included the participation of cross-party British MPs, many of whom have a large Kashmiri diaspora constituency base. “The people of Kashmir deserve the opportunity to thrive and succeed, so more broadly we welcome the commitment that the Indian government has made to the economic and social development of Kashmir,” said Adams.