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Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in India and Pakistan on the situation in Kashmir; what steps his Department is taking in support of a bilateral resolution between India and Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. (255558)

[holding answer 9 February 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary last discussed the situation in Kashmir with Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on 14 January 2009 and with Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi on 26 November 2008. Our policy towards Kashmir has not changed—we continue to encourage both Pakistan and India to seek a lasting resolution to the issue of Kashmir, which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Through the Conflict Prevention Programme, the Government fund a number of projects designed to support efforts to facilitate dialogue, address the causes and impact of conflict and create improvements in the quality of life experienced by Kashmiris. We are supporting capacity-building and skills training for non-governmental organisations on both sides of the Line of Control, funding media projects that bring Indian and Pakistani journalists together, and helping with curriculum design that promotes a modern approach to education.