NEW DELHI Former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who recently visited Jammu and Kashmir and Pak controlled Kashmir to meet local leaders including Hurriyat Conference, has advocated a trilateral dialogue between India, Pakistan and leaders of Kashmir.
Underling that there was no military solution to the conflict, he also expressed hope that India and Pakistan can return to dialogue table post-Lok Sabha polls to bring a lasting solution to the longest running conflict in South Asia.
“I respect the Indian approach. But we must also be aware of several UN resolution on the conflict and the recent report on the human rights situation. We need a tri-party-dialogue between the leaders in India, Pakistan and Kashmir” said Bondevik in an email interview with economic times.
Bondevik who does not want to describe him as a mediator claimed that he respects the
Indian approach on the Kashmir issue.
He claimed that his meetings with Hurriyat leaders was organized by Srinagar Deputy Mayor Imran Sheikh and Sri Sri Ravishankar.
The Ministry of External Affairs, according to two-time PM, did not play any role in arranging his trip.
This was first time that a foreign leader visited Jammu and Kashmir to meet Hurriyat leaders in many years.
Bondevik, however, claimed he does not share views espoused by the Hurriyat Conference and advised them to work through peaceful means. “The fact that I met them, does not mean that I share their views. They described the situation from their point of view, I emphasized that they should work by peaceful means,” the former PM said when asked about his views on Hurriyat Conference.
When asked about cross-border militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, Bondevik suggested, “There is no military solution to the conflict. The parties must come to the table for a dialogue and possible negotiations. It may be difficult before the election in India, but hopefully after.”
On what inspired him to undertake trip to both sides of Kashmir, Bondevik who founded the Oslo Center, noted, “This is the longest lasting conflict in Asia, people are killed and are suffering a lot. This should be brought to an end. There are also several UN resolutions on the conflict and a recent report on the serious human rights situation.” Bondevik informed that during his travel to PaK locals also described how they see the situation. “They brought me to the LOC, it was useful to me to see with my own eyes how the situation is on ground and the restrictions are hindering better human and business relations across the line.”
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