Back Channel Military Diplomacy active in third country
Britain is engaged in talks at the United Nations on efforts to calm tensions between India and Pakistan, Hindustan Times has reported.
Mark Field, Foreign Office minister, who left for India on Thursday, told the House of Commons that diplomatic, military and other channels were being worked to help de-escalate the tense situation between the two countries.
Several MPs with large Indian and Pakistani diaspora joined a lengthy debate in the House of Commons, after Prime Minister Theresa May expressed deep concern.
Field said talks were taking place at the United Nations over the situation. “It is a fluid situation and therefore, I cannot go into specifics regarding the UN other than to say that feverish conversations are taking place there, albeit while trying to instil a sense of calm,” he said.
“I have to say that I have encountered over the last two mornings a blizzard of diplomatic telegrams from Islamabad, New Delhi and, of course, New York recognising the huge amount of work going in from our diplomatic service in trying to keep open lines of communication and trying to speak to individuals in the military and at the political level,” he added.
Field also revealed that back-channels between military functionaries of Britain, India and Pakistan were also active.
“The UK has back-channels with both the Indian and Pakistani military, and I am well aware that conversations have already taken place and will no doubt continue at pace,” he said.
Responding to persistent demands for London to play a greater role, Field reiterated the long-standing policy “that it is and must be for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to this situation, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
It is not for the UK to prescribe, intervene or interfere with a solution or to act as mediator”.