HC Deb 02 March 1994 vol 238 c942
21. Ms Lynne

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with other Commonwealth Governments regarding the situation in Kashmir.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We have frequently discussed the situation in Kashmir with both the Indian and Pakistan Governments. They are the Commonwealth Governments most directly concerned.

Ms Lynne

I am grateful for that answer. Has the Minister had discussions with his Commonwealth partners about setting up an eminent persons group to visit Indian-held Kashmir to see for themselves what the situation is? Does he agree that the Indian Government's refusal to allow an all-party group of British Members of Parliament to see for themselves leads one to believe that they may have something to hide with regard to human rights abuses?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

If it were the wish of the Indian or the Pakistan Government to have a special group from the Commonwealth to visit Kashmir, one or other would have drawn the attention of the Commonwealth secretariat to that matter. It would be for them to draw it to the Commonwealth's attention, not for us.

As to the latter point of the hon. Lady's question, I said in an earlier answer that there have been many impartial visitors to Kashmir in recent months.