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'Demand for J&K plebiscite out of step'

Source: PTI
November 28, 2006 20:56 IST
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Brushing aside Pakistan's persistent demand for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, an European Parliament report has said that such calls were "wholly out of step" and against the "interests" of the people there.

"Continuing calls for a plebiscite on the final status of Jammu and Kashmir are wholly out of step with the needs of the local people and thus damaging to their interests," said the report on Kashmir being debated by EP's foreign affairs committee in Brussels, the EU headquarters.

The report lauded India and Pakistan on the peace moves currently underway and welcomed the fact that bilateral talks, put on hold for three months following the July 2006 bombings in Mumbai, have restarted.

The rapporteur of the report titled 'Kashmir, Present Situation and Future Prospects' is British Member of European Parliament Baronness Emma Nicholson who visited Kashmir earlier this year.

The foreign affairs committee is expected to adopt the report following a debate on amendment proposals on January 30 and the EP's plenary session is expected to debate the report in March.

Diplomats from the Indian and Pakistani embassies in Brussels followed the debate, INEP news said.

The report said there was need for the region, EU and the international community to support the current bilateral talks and for further strengthening of exchanges with the aim of generating a more stable and prosperous future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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