India has strongly objected to the UK for allowing Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to use the House of Commons as a stage for a Kashmir conference during a visit to London this weekend, reported The Economic Times.
According to a report published by The Economic Times said that Delhi has conveyed these through diplomatic channels after it emerged that the Pakistan foreign minister has a packed Kashmir agenda during his visit starting February 4.
“The UK, for its part, is believed to have assured India that Qureshi will not be on an official bilateral visit and no formal meetings are scheduled for him with the British government,” The Economic Times reported.
The report said that Delhi, however, is keeping a close watch after Qureshi made an unprecedented phone call to Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Farooq on Tuesday to invite him to the conference.
“Qureshi is also expected to join protest marches on Kashmir in London,” the report said.
The report quoted sources as having said that India has officially raised the matter with the UK: “We have taken up the matter with the UK authorities and they are aware of our sensitivities on the motivation and timing of the visit,” The Economic Times quoted sources as having said.
Qureshi is leading a Pakistan government effort to hold a seminar on the report of the UK all-party parliamentary group on Kashmir headed by MP Chris Leslie. The report, which was brought out last November is critical of Indian Army presence and has alleged human rights abuses in the Valley. It also called for the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act, The Economic Times reported.