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Ireland formula won't work in J&K: UK army chief

October 21, 2004 14:13 IST

Chief of the general staff of the British army General Sir Mike Jackson on Thursday said the Ireland formula was not necessarily applicable to the Kashmir problem, which is a "bilateral" dispute between India and Pakistan.

"As regards the Ireland formula, we need to be careful. It is not necessary that what works in one part of the world can be implemented in other parts as well," Jackson, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, told reporters in Srinagar.

He, however, said there were many parallels between the situation in Ireland and Kashmir. "The military operations to counter insurgency have to be complimented by a political process and socio-economic development of the region," the British general said.

On New Delhi's concern over cross-border terrorism, Jackson said, "I am very aware of the concerns. (But) United Kingdom sees Kashmir as an entirely bilateral issue between India and Pakistan." He said as per the information provided to him by the Indian army commanders during interactions, it could be perceived that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was improving.

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Asked about the alleged human rights violations by the troops in the state, he said, "The statistics shown to me indicate that the human rights record has also improved. It is good to know that soldiers, who step outside their limits while on duty, are dealt with sternly."

Jackson said he would submit a report to the home department of his country on his assessment of the situation during the two day visit.

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