J&K: envoy says issue should be resolved bilaterally

J&K: envoy says issue should be resolved bilaterally

Britain's High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith (L). AFP file photo

Britain's High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said on Tuesday that his country's stand on Jammu and Kashmir had not changed, and the Kashmir issue must be resolved bilaterally between India and Pakistan by taking into account the "wishes of Kashmiri people".

His country took the same stand when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) discussed the issue recently, he added.

Asquith's statement to reporters here came in the aftermath of the Indian government abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

"UK's position has not changed one degree. We are no different today than we were a year ago, which is, the question of Kashmir has to be sorted out bilaterally between the Indian government and the Pakistani government, taking into account the wishes of Kashmiri people," Asquith said.

The United Kingdom took the same stand when the Kashmir issue was discussed behind closed doors during a meeting called by the UNSC, he added.

"The Indian government has made it clear what is its objective on Article 370 (abrogation), that includes human and economic development of Kashmir. And we welcome it, and we look forward to seeing that (objective) being developed and delivered," he said.

Asked what citizens of his country thought about the Indian government's decision regarding Jammu and Kashmir (abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories), Asquith said the perception of India in the UK was not "one dimensional".

"Texture of relation is more interesting and thicker than you can imagine," he added.