We Are Here To Study Kashmir: British HC27 May 2011
Srinagar: The British High Commissioner to India Sir Richard Stagg, who arrived here Friday, said the purpose of his visit was to study the situation in the state. “We are here to learn,” he said replying to a query about the objective of his two-day visit. He however refused to comment on other queries like “whether Britain considers Kashmir as dispute” or “would they play any role in the resolution of Kashmir.” Meanwhile, a three-member team of British High Commission led by Stagg met Governor N.N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today. The delegation called on the Governor at Raj Bhavan here this evening and had a detailed meeting with him over a number of issues. During interaction with the delegation, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah apprised them of the new initiatives government has taken for holistic and equitable development of all the regions and sub-regions of the state, an official spokesman said. He said that CM also apprised them about the measures in place to address unemployment crises and enhance the employability of the youth of the state. “The British High Commissioner showed keen interest in the innovative steps Jammu and Kashmir state has taken for peace and development in the state,” the spokesman said. After meeting the delegation, Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told reporters that Britain has moral obligation to resolve the Kashmir issue. “We told them that Kashmir is primarily an issue between the people of Kashmir, India and Pakistan, but we would encourage any sort of international facilitation for its resolution,” he said. Mirwaiz further said that he informed them that no concrete measures had been taken for resolving the issue, “but we would welcome the Kashmir specific confidence building measures.” About the interlocutors appointed by the Centre, Mirwaiz said that he briefed them that this was a futile and time-consuming process. “We would welcome the engagement at political level between the three parties,” he said. Stagg, according to Mirwaiz, hinted that Britain would speed up its efforts for the resolution of the dispute as large number of Kashmiris were living in their country.