Boris Johnson Reaches Islamabad, Calls ‘For an End to Violence in Kashmir’

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for a two-day official visit. In a joint press conference with Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Johnson stressed that the UK calls for an immediate end to violence in Kashmir but also confessed that it was not for his country to “prescribe a solution or act as a mediator” in the conflict of the disputed region.

Explaining the UK’s stance on the issue, Johnson elucidated that “the longstanding position of the UK is that is it for India and Pakistan to find a lasting solution to the situation in Kashmir taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.” According to Johnson, “of course we are concerned about recent incidents on both sides of the Line of Control in Kashmir and we call for an end to the violence.” He urged Pakistan and India to exercise restraint and maintain a dialogue as he highlighted that “incredible human potential of Pakistan and its neighbours, and then imagine what the future could be like if this was sorted out.” In his remarks, Johnson alleged that the “mutual sequestration” of the India-Pakistan economies was holding back the region from becoming a “boom zone.”

Whereas on the other hand, Aziz mentioned that Pakistan appreciates Britain’s assistance in key areas specially education and health sectors. It was recalled that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited British PM Theresa May to visit Pakistan in 2017 and “we eagerly look foward to this visit”.

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