UK Says It Is For India, Pak To Resolve Kashmir Issue

23 January 2009
The Times of India


London: Against the backdrop of a diplomatic storm sparked by foreign secretary David Miliband's attempt to link the Kashmir problem to terrorism, Britain today said it was for India and Pakistan to resolve the issue through dialogue and 'not for UK to prescribe a solution.' 'It is not for UK to prescribe a solution and it is for the parties directly involved to determine through dialogue,' the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said. 'Normalisation of India-Pakistan relations is vital to regional security. We continue to urge both India and Pakistan to seek a lasting resolution of the issue of Kashmir which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people,' an FCO spokeswoman said. Miliband triggered a diplomatic row when he wrote in 'The Guardian' during his recent visit to India that the 'resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms...' Reacting to Miliband's observation, William Hague, shadow foreign secretary, said 'good relations with India are very important to Britain and must be handled with care and consistency.' 'If David Miliband's comments caused a diplomatic storm in Delhi, then those relations will have been damaged by his visit,' said Hague, a Conservative leader.