National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday asked the Centre to clear the air around former Norwegian prime minister Kjell Mangne Bondevik’s visit to Kashmir during which he met separatist leaders.
“What are the Norwegians up to in Kashmir? Would either (External Affairs Minister) @SushmaSwaraj ji or (National Security Advisor Ajit) Doval ji care to put the visit of the former Norwegian PM to both sides of the divided state in the correct context or do we have to rely on rumours & conjecture?” Abdullah said in a tweet.
Bondevik had last Friday met senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq here.
In a statement, the separatists said Geelani and Mirwaiz told the former prime minister that since his country “has a history of playing a positive role in conflict resolutions”, the Norwegian government should make serious efforts to resolve the vexed Kashmir dispute to mitigate the sufferings of the people and ensure a lasting peace in South Asia. They said the leaders explained to the visiting dignitary the prevailing situation in Kashmir and termed it “very sensitive and fragile”.
The former Norwegian prime minister-led delegation assured the separatist leaders that “they would use their good offices to ensure that a sustained and result-oriented dialogue between India and Pakistan begins so that an amicable solution to the Kashmir issue is found,” the statement claimed.
With his National Conference already into election mode, Omar criticised the BJP over its handling of the political turmoil in Kashmir. The J&K former chief minister also claimed that the NDA government’s handling of the situation in the state in an ad-hoc and experimental manner has pushed the state several years back.