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Britain not to 'lecture' India, Pak on bilateral relations

world Updated: May 28, 2010 01:39 IST

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Britain's new Conservative-led government today made it clear that it does not intend to "lecture" India and Pakistan over their strained relationship, even as it welcomed the resumption of talks between them.

Ahead of his visit to Islamabad, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "it will not be our approach to lecture other countries on how they should conduct their bilateral relations."

Hague's predecessor David Miliband had become a centre of a diplomatic row between India and Britain after he suggested that the Kashmir issue was at the root of terror attacks like the one in Mumbai.

In an article last year, Miliband wrote: "Resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms".

India was upset by the suggestion and had registered a protest with Britain.

Hague's remarks that his government intends to stay out of Indo-Pak matters is an indication that the new dispensation would be careful not to stir another such diplomatic row.

Welcoming the improvement in Indo-Pak ties, including plans for foreign minister-level talks in July, Hague told reporters that this "is of course important to relations in that region and the future peace in the world".

"But our approach would not be to tell those countries what to do, they must take forward their own bilateral relations," he said.

Hague plans to visit Pakistan in the next few weeks and India in the summer.