Convinced that there is no military solution to Kashmir Issue, says Former Norwegian PM

Srinagar: Former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who recently visited Kashmir has said that said he is convinced that there is no military solution to the Kashmir issue.

In a conversation with the Indian Express,  she said his visit to Kashmir and his meetings with various sections of Kashmiris, including the Resistance Leaders, were “useful” and helped him to “get an overview” of the problem.

Asked why he had visited Kashmir and what role he saw for himself in the state, Bondevik said he was invited by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar to visit the Valley.

“If I am asked to play a role by both (governments of India and Pakistan), I am willing to do so,” he said but he also underlined that there was no such invitation at the moment from the Indian side.

“I am not naive, I am aware that India is approaching an election,” Bondevik said adding that this was not the time to talk about an India-Pakistan dialogue on Kashmir. “I respect India’s position that it does not want an outsider (engaging) in Kashmir, and that its issues with Pakistan are bilateral.”

But, he said, at the same time, “we can’t ignore the fact that the international community is interested in the issue, there have been UN resolutions on Kashmir, and recently, there was a report of the UN Human Right Commission. So there is an international interest”.

If India and Pakistan could solve the matter without help, “it is good, then they must come to the table because the situation in Kashmir is escalating”. He said, “I am convinced there is no military solution to the Kashmir problem”.

During his visit to Indian Administered Kashmir, former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik, on November 23 met two top Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who briefed him about the “fragile” political situation in Kashmir and the need for a resolution of the Kashmir issue.

After the meet, Mirwaiz had tweeted:

Bodovik also visited the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir Muzaffarabad, and discussed the “latest situation” in Jammu and Kashmir with the PaK president Sardar Masood Khan.

Bondevik briefed PaK president Khan about his visit to Srinagar and a meeting with the Joint Resistance Leadership there, reports said.

Norway has a history of resolving conflicts in several countries in a peaceful manner.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah had asked the Government of India to ‘put in the correct context’ the recent visit of former Norwegian premier to both parts of divided Kashmir.

In a tweet Omar while asking ‘What are the Norwegians up to in Kashmir’, said:

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