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Euro MPs back confidence building measures over Kashmir

July 15, 2011 1:14 PM
Liz Lynne MEP with fellow Lib Dem Euro MPs Sarah Ludford (left) and Chris Davies (right) viewing a model of the Chakorthi bridge in Kashmir, scene of the first bus service across the militarised Line of Control.

Liz Lynne and Lib Dem MEP colleagues Sarah Ludford (left) and Chris Davies (right) with a model of the famous Chakorthi bridge, symbol of efforts to build peace in Kashmir

West Midlands Euro MP Liz Lynne and her Lib Dem MEP colleagues have backed new moves between India and Pakistan for 'confidence building measures' over the long-running dispute in Kashmir.

Liz Lynne and other Lib Dem MEPs attended an exhibition and reception in Brussels as part of Kashmir Week in the European Parliament from July 11 - 16th.

The week of events highlighting the continued dispute in the province was held as hopes rise that a summit between India and Pakistan's foreign ministers due on July 26th will inject new momentum into a peace process.

The talks follow progress in working groups discussing new truck and bus services across the military line of control in Kashmir and a package of measures to increase nuclear safety.

Liz Lynne, a longstanding campaigner for justice in Kashmir and a member of the European Parliament's South Asia Delegation, said: "Kashmir Week was a good opportunity to underline how important it is that the EU takes steps to promote a meaningful peace process in this long-running and extremely dangerous conflict.

"I am keeping up the pressure on the Commission and the EU's External Action Service to encourage progress towards a just solution which involves the Kashmiri people. They are paramount."

"I welcome the recent resumption of contacts between the Indian and Pakistan governments, but it is important to keep a focus on the regular reports of widespread abuse of human rights.

"I have been saddened by reports from independent sources like Amnesty International of continued repression by Indian security forces passing unpunished.

"I recently submitted a Parliamentary Question to the European Council regarding administrative detentions in Indian-administered Kashmir and the use of the Public Safety Act. I await the reply with interest.

"It is also important to highlight positive news. I welcome all moves to extend cross-border trade and passenger services to other routes as well as Muzaffarabad to Srinagar, which appears to have been a great success.

"I hope the summit due later this month lives up to expectations. Dialogue is essential to building momentum in the peace process, and it is important that the appalling bomb attacks in Mumbai this week do not prevent it."


Caption: Liz Lynne MEP with her Lib Dem colleagues at the Kashmir exhibition organised by North West Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies (right) in the European Parliament this week, with a model of the bridge at Chakorthi, scene of the first bus route through the heavily militarised line of control in the province.