ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik on Friday underscored the need for resolving the longstanding Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India politically.
In a meeting with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi in Islamabad, Bandovik said that Kashmir issue is a long standing conflict and needs a political solution, taking into account the UN Security Council Resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people along both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).
Bondevik is the founder and President of the Oslo Peace Centre for Peace and Human Rights. He was Prime Minister of Norway from 1997-2000 and again 2001-2005. He is a strong advocate of human rights and inter-faith harmony.
The former Norwegian prime minister along with a two-member delegation is visiting Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) from 29-31 March 2017 to gain a firsthand understanding of the ongoing Indian atrocities and gross human rights violations perpetrated by Indian occupation forces against defenceless Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Welcoming the delegation, Tariq Fatemi expressed the hope that Bondevik’s visit to AJK had provided an opportunity to him to witness firsthand the agony of divided families and the plight of the Kashmiri refugees who had migrated to AJK to escape Indian atrocities.
The special assistant appreciated the strong support of Bondevik for protection of human rights and urged him to sensitize the international community about the gross Indian atrocities in Indian Occupied kashmir and the need for expedited resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Syed Tariq Fatemi highlighted the continuing grave human rights violations of the peoples of Occupied Kashmir by India which had intensified over the past months.
Fatemi strongly condemned continued Indian use of pellet guns and live ammunition on peaceful protestors which had already resulted in approximately 200 civilian deaths, 20,000 injured and hundreds including young girls and children being blinded. He said that despite strong international condemnation, India had recently imported 4000 more pellet guns.
The special assistant informed Bondevik that the Hurriyat leadership was imprisoned or placed under house arrest. He said that Indian paramilitary forces were burning and shutting down schools resulting in children being denied their basic human rights to education.
Tariq Fatemi told that the imposition of almost constant curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir made the lives of innocent people miserable. Their situation was further aggravated by the Indian government deliberately creating a shortage of basic amenities including food for children and medicines, he said.
Earlier, Kjell Magne Bondevik traveled to AJK where he called on President Masood Khan and Prime Minister Farooq Haider Khan, and also visited camps of refugees who had fled from the Indian Occupied Territory.