No room for third party on Kashmir: India

Jammu and Kashmir dispute

New Delhi, Jan 19 : Following reports that British parliamentarians were slated to debate a motion on the Kashmir issue, India on Thursday reasserted that there is no room for a third party on the issue.

“Our position on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is very clear,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at a media briefing here.

“All issues between India and Pakistan are to be solved bilaterally and peacefully in accordance with the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration,” he said.

“There is no room for a third party.”

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that the motion would urge the British government to encourage Pakistan and India to commence peace negotiations to establish a long-term solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The debate is determined by the Backbench Business Committee following an application from David Nuttall, a member of the Conservative Party. The Backbench committee meets weekly on Tuesdays to consider requests for debates from any backbench MP on any subject.

The debate on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India will be led by Nuttall along with Nusrat Ghani, Robert Flello and Fiona Mactaggart.

Since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8 last year by Indian security forces, the Kashmir Valley has seen its biggest outbreak of protest and violence since 2010.

The violence in the Valley has led to a serious flaring up of tension between India and Pakistan, with regular exchanges between their forces along the Line of Control, that divides the two nuclear countries.

This was not the first time that the MPs have proposed such a motion in Britain’s Parliament. However, the Parliament had on previous instances tabled down such motion, maintaining that the Kashmir issue was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

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