19th November 1997
New Delhi: The British MP of Indian origin, Mr. Keith Vaz, today ruled out British mediation on the Kashmir issue, stressing that "it is purely a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan".
"We welcome the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan and have absolutely no desire to interfere," Mr Vaz, heading a nine-member British parliamentary delegation to the country, told PTI.
The delegation today called on the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr. P A Sangma, and presented him a portrait of the Speaker of the British Parliament, Ms. Betty Boothroyd.
They are also scheduled to meet the Finance Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram and the Commerce Minister, Mr. B B Ramaiah, here before visiting Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
"It is only appropriate that the delegation is here when India is celebrating its Golden Jubilee of Independence. The visit would help foster a growing Indo-british trade relation," Mr Vaz, a three-timeLabour MP from Lester (East) and also Chairman of the 190-mmber Indo-British parliamentary group, said.