Days before leaving for New Delhi, Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday reiterated Britain’s position that the Jammu and Kashmir issue was a matter for India and Pakistan, and refrained from committing to raise it during her India visit.
May is scheduled to visit New Delhi and Bengaluru from November 6 to 8, when she and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first Indo-UK Tech Summit in New Delhi. It will be her first bilateral visit outside the European Union since taking over as prime minister.
Answering a question in the House of Commons from Pakistan-origin Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi on recent events in Jammu and Kashmir, May said she would continue Britain’s policy of not intervening in the dispute.
“I take the same view as this government has since it came to power and has indeed taken previously and that is that the issue of Kashmir is a matter for India and Pakistan to deal with and sort out,” May said when asked by Qureshi to discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation with other MPs and raise the matter with Modi during the India visit.
“But the foreign secretary has heard her (Qureshi’s) representation and I am sure will be interested in taking up those issues with her,” she added.
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson and home secretary Amber Rudd, sitting next to May during Prime Minister’s Question Time, nodded in agreement.
Qureshi’s constituency of Boston South East in Greater Manchester includes a sizeable population of people of Pakistan origin.