Allow team to visit Kashmir Valley for first-hand assessment of situation: UK minister

Says PM Boris Johnson has been in touch with his counterparts from India and Pakistan to keep their communications open and manage regional tensions

Allow team to visit Kashmir Valley for first-hand assessment of situation: UK minister

Security men detected a tunnel along the IB in Samba district on Wednesday. PTI

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13

The United Kingdom has called on India to lift all restrictions in Kashmir and also allow a team from its High Commission in Delhi to visit the Valley for a first-hand assessment of the situation, said UK Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland while replying to a debate on the “political situation in Kashmir” in the Westminster Hall by UK MPs.

The debate took place a day after the UK MPs discussed “Persecution of Muslims, Christians and Minority Groups in India”, which elicited a strong reaction from the Indian High Commission in London. Last week, UK MPs had lobbied for repeal of India’s farm laws.

The minister said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been in touch with his counterparts from India and Pakistan to keep their communications open and manage regional tensions. "We urge India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, maintain ceasefire on the LoC and to improve communications. We welcome India’s commitment to social and economic development of Kashmir and seek further details of their plans,” said Buckland.

"We continue to talk frankly to India about our human rights concerns and call for all remaining restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible."

The minister's disclosure that Johnson had been talking to PMs Modi and Imran Khan came hours after Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seemed to disapprove of countries taking up matters in other nations. 

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