January 2003 News

UK calls for end to infiltration

16 January 2003
The Daily Times
Staff Reporter

SRINAGAR: Britain’s High Commissioner to India Rob Young called Thursday for an end to infiltration from Pakistani to Held Kashmir and urged dialogue to end the five-decade dispute over the Himalayan province.Young, on a visit to the insurgency-wracked state, stressed that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had promised to end the flow of Islamic rebels across the de facto border. “The British government along with the American government and other governments have been trying to ensure that the commitments which President Musharraf made last summer are fully carried out and there is an end to cross-border infiltration,” Young told a function in Kulgam, 70 km south of Srinagar.“One of the main messages that I have brought with me is that there must be an end to violence,” Young told several hundred people at the function, which was organised by Kashmiri communist legislator Yusuf Tarigami.He said there were “two aspects” for dialogue “One is dialogue within Kashmir and between the people of Kashmir and government of India. The second aspect is negotiations between India and Pakistan.” But he did not propose a British role in mediation over Kashmir. “We in Great Britain do not have prescription for the settlement (on Kashmir). That has to be done between governments and the people of India and Pakistan,” he said.Young said his meetings with Srinagar residents showed that people wanted peace with dignity and an end to violence. “The British will do what they can to help the people of Kashmir to achieve that end,” he said.Young also met with leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in Srinagar. At the end of the one-hour meeting Young told reporters that the Hurriyat had missed a “great opportunity” by not participating in the polls. Hurriyat chief Abdul Gani Bhat said Young was told that “if elections are held for the future dispensation of Kashmir we will participate.” “Listening to him does not mean that we will follow his line.”Meanwhile, Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Shah said he had urged Mr Young to arrange talks among India, Pakistan and Kashmiris to resolve the five-decade dispute. Shabir Shah told AFP he met late Wednesday with British High Commissioner Rob Young in Srinagar. “I told him that Britain should at least try to facilitate talks among India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris. —AFP


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