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United Kingdom

"We are completely satisfied [with the] way the first two phases [of elections in J&K] had been conducted and we do hope that the remaining phase would also be conducted peacefully."

- Rob Young, British High Commissioner in India, Guwahati, Assam, September 27, 2002.

''It is important that free, fair and inclusive elections are held in J&K. We welcome the positive start of the process and commend the courage shown by those who chose to participate in the first round. We hope the process will be allowed to continue without interference.''

- Statement by the British High Commission in India, New Delhi, September 18, 2002

"India has a long, honourable tradition of democratic elections. We know that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is himself committed to and keen to see that polls in Jammu and Kashmir are held in a democratic manner… We see this election as an important one (which could) pave the way for fulfilling the aspirations of Kashmiri people… this [assassination of Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone on September 11] was an attempt to undermine the democratic process in the state".

- Rob Young, British High Commissioner to India, Chandigarh, September 12, 2002.

"What progress can be made does depend on the realities on the ground and the key is an end to cross-border infiltration and then a climate in Jammu and Kashmir in which election can take place. On the Pakistani side, action to deal with the terrorist camps and on the Indian side more action to deal with the human rights deficit in Jammu and Kashmir were also essential… "It was a very important announcement which may help ensure that there is a proper focus on the fairness of the election. Of course that has to go alongside a security situation which needs to be improved if people are able to feel free to vote."

- Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, July 11, 2002.





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