Kashmir a bilateral issue, resolve through dialogue: Johnson to Modi

Boris Johnson (left) and Narendra Modi.

During a telephone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, British Premier Boris Johnson called Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and stressed on the importance of ‘resolving issues through dialogue’, reported news agency PTI.

A Downing Street spokesperson said that the phone call, made on Tuesday, was a part of a series of calls undertaken by Johnson to other world leaders since he took charge of the office last month.

The spokesperson said, "The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi discussed the current situation in Kashmir… The Prime Minister (Johnson) made clear that the UK views the issue of Kashmir as one for India and Pakistan to resolve bilaterally. He underlined the importance of resolving issues through dialogue."

On August 5, India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories escalating tension between the two neighbours

Further, the official said both the prime ministers agreed on the importance of building stronger ties with each other through trade and economic relations and through the living bridge that links our countries .

"Prime Minister Modi said there are immense possibilities for the UK and India which would increase prosperity in both countries, the spokesperson said.

The conversation comes ahead of the G-7 Summit to be held in France over the coming weekend, where the two leaders are scheduled to meet for the first time since Johnson assumed office.

"Ahead of the G7, the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi agreed on the importance of working together to tackle climate change and other threats to biopersity. They looked forward to meeting at the summit this weekend to discuss this and other issues, the spokesperson added.

While the Downing Street readout of the telephonic conversation made no reference to any other issues discussed between the two leaders, the Prime Minister’s Office in India said that the topics covered also included a fight against terrorism and violence.

According to a statement released by the PMO, PM Modi claimed that terrorism plagues ‘all parts of the world’ and that ‘effective steps need to be taken to ward off threats’.

Prime Minister Modi pointed out that terrorism had plagued all parts of the world, including India and Europe. He stressed the importance of effective steps to ward off the threats posed by radicalisation, violence and intolerance, particularly in the context of the expanding footprint of terrorist organisations such as ISIS [Islamic State]," the statement read.

Modi also drew Johnson’s attention to the reported vandalism at the High Commission of India in London by a large mob on the day India celebrated its Independence Day.

Johnson expressed regret at the incident and assured necessary steps will be undertaken to ensure safety and security of the personnel at the High Commission and the visitors, the statement said.