Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to explain former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik’s recent visit to both sides of the Line of Control.
“What are the Norwegians up to in Kashmir?” he tweeted. “Would either Sushma Swaraj or Doval care to put the visit of the former Norwegian prime minister to both sides of the divided state in the correct context or do we have to rely on rumours & conjecture?”
Bondevik met separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on November 23, The Indian Express reported. He also met delegations of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the High Court Bar Association. Bondevik is currently the president of the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights.
The former Norwegian prime minister met Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’s president, Sardar Masood Khan, in Muzaffarabad on November 25, Dawn reported. “We welcome the initiatives made in good faith,” Khan said. “Norway has a long history of constructive and impartial diplomacy and we hope that Oslo will also play a role in peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute.”
Dawn said Bondevik “expressed serious concern over the growing incidents of human rights violations in India-held Kashmir”, and referred to a United Nations report on the matter published in June.
However, Abdullah claimed that he was not upset by Bondevik’s visit. Replying to a tweet by News18, which said that the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy were both upset, Abdullah tweeted: “Please show me where in my tweet I’ve said or even hinted I’m upset? All I’m asking is for some clarity as to what is happening. Please don’t use my shoulder to fire the gun of your agenda. For the record, I’m not upset in the least and welcome any initiative to break the ice.”