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India, Pakistan should talk over Kashmir: May

India, Pakistan should talk over Kashmir: May

New Delhi: British Prime Minister Theresa May, who arrived here on Sunday night on her three-day visit to India, said India and Pakistan should hold bilateral talks to settle the issue of Kashmir.

"This is a matter for India and Pakistan to sort it out through dialogue," May told this correspondent on board the Royal Air Force Voyager, regarding Britain's stance on cross border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan in Kashmir.

"This is not an issue for any other government to get involved."

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had recently sparked a controversy by issuing a statement mentioning India's northern state as Indian-administered Kashmir.

May's three-day official visit is intended to promote Indo-British relations.

"The relationships between our two countries are strong, and the Indian diaspora plays a vital role in our national life," May said. "In my talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi I want to build on our relationship for the benefit of both our countries, generating jobs and wealth and maintaining cooperation on defence and security."

"The UK and India are natural partners - the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy - and together I believe we can achieve great things - delivering jobs and skills, developing new technologies and improving our cities, tackling terrorism and climate change.

"This is a partnership about our shared security and shared prosperity. It is a partnership of potential. And on this visit I intend to harness that potential, rebooting an age-old relationship in this age of opportunity and with that helping to build a better Britain," she added.

Along with Modi, the British Prime Minister will inaugurate the first Indo-UK tech summit at Taj Palace Hotel here. The British delegation includes prominent British indian business personalities like Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek Group, Nik Kotecha, CEO of Morningside Pharmaceuticals and Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

The business agenda includes the signing of a landmark agreement to improve the intellectual property landscape in India with a programme of co-operation between the UK Intellectual Property Office and India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. This will support Indian efforts to protect and enforce intellectual property rights, thereby addressing one of the concerns for British businesses operating in India.

Britain will also commit to extend assistance to India to improve the business environment, including by providing advice on reducing regulation, tax and public administration, standards and insolvency. No other country has such comprehensive co-operation with India in this area, which is intended to support Modi's efforts to push India up the world's Ease of Doing Business rankings from its current 130th spot and in turn make it easier for British business to trade and invest in India.

Both Prime Ministers will also launch an India-UK Urban Partnership on smart cities and urban development which could be unlock new business worth up to 2 billion pounds to British business over the next five years.

The Indo-British collaboration is also expected to focus on the fast-growing and dynamic state of Madhya Pradesh besides the historic and holy city of Varanasi, Prime Minister Modi's constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

(Anasudhin Azeez is Executive Editor/MD of Asian Lite. He can be reached at [email protected])

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