OSLO (Norway): The Executive Director of Kashmiri Scandinavian Council Sardar Ali Shahnawaz Khan welcomed the former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Mangne Bondevik’s recent visit to Indian-held Kashmir and his meeting with Syed Ali Shah Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.
He said that Bondevik’s trip to Srinagar was the first by a foreign luminary since Narendra Modi assumed power in New Delhi. He said this visit is a significant development in the context of growing international scrutiny over gross human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir by security forces. Mr Shahnawaz said that Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), has also recently issued a report which is an eye-opener document and exposed India’s record of human rights violation in Kashmir.
He hoped that Bondevik, who later travelled to Islamabad-Pakistan wherein he held talks with a cross-section of people including Kashmiri leaders would play a vital role to bring India and Pakistan to table meant to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir through negotiation and engagement.
He lauded that after a long lull international community once again trying to include Kashmiri leaders in the dialogue process for the resolution of Kashmir dispute, which is a positive step and must be appreciated by all stakeholders. He said that Mr Bondevik, who serves as the Executive Chair at the Norway-based Oslo Center, is a credible and neutral person who has right skills and experience to mobilise necessary support to facilitate a dialogue between India and Pakistan over Kashmir wherein representatives of Kashmir are involved.