NEW DELHI: India’s quiet diplomacy with the UK, including a demarche asking the British government to not allow its soil to be used for propaganda against India, ensured that Pakistan backed events on the so called Kashmir Solidarity Day were a non-starter, government sources familiar with the issue said.
UK maintained all along that Pakistan foreign minister S M Qureshi was in London on a private visit and that no government official was going to interact with him. According to authorities here, Pakistan officials even tried to arrange an “accidental” meeting for Qureshi with senior UK government officials but that too was apparently not granted.
Most of the MPs who joined the Kashmir conference on British Parliament premises were said to be of Pakistani origin. The conference was attended by former Norway PM Kjell Bondevik who was in news recently for his visit to Srinagar where he held talks with representatives of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, J&K Youth Development Forum and All Party Hurriyat Conference. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had then clarified that India had no role in organising his visit or any of his meetings.
The conference in British Parliament was organised by UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Pakistan (APPG-Pakistan) chairperson Rehman Chisti. However, several senior members of the group stayed away from the conference. Shadow foreign secretary of Labour Party Emily Thornberry and MP Debbie Abrahams, reports from London said, attended the event.