Peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue through dialogue imperative for lasting peace: Bondevik

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MUZAFFARABAD: Former Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik on Sunday visited Muzaffarabad and discussed the latest situation of Jammu and Kashmir with Azad Jammu and Kashmir President, Sardar Masood Khan.

Mr. Bondevik, who visited Azad Kashmir on the invitation of President Masood had just returned from the visit of J&K, where he met Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Gillani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Geelani’s residence in Srinagar.

Mr. Bondevik briefed the AJK President about his visit to J&K and meeting with the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) there.  During the meeting President Masood Khan said that the grim situation in J&K requires diplomatic and political initiative by international community to end the suffering of the Kashmiri people.

“Diplomacy can help us bridge divides and come to understanding on a just and lasting resolution on the Kashmir dispute”, AJK President said and added that UN Security Council Resolution on the Kashmir Dispute adopted under chapter 6 of the UN Charter outline the modalities for the pacific settlement of the dispute.

The President said that unsettled Kashmir dispute is a danger to regional and international peace and security and, therefore, resort to negotiation, mediation, and observation was important to break the current deadlock.

President Masood said that Kashmiris strongly believe that there is no military solution of Kashmir and India will have to sit across the table with Pakistan and genuine representatives of Kashmiri people to work out modalities for peaceful settlement of the dispute.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bondevik while referring the report of United Nations’ Human Rights Commission expressed his concerned over growing incidents of human rights violations in J&K. He said that peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue through dialogues and other means is imperative for lasting peace and stability in the region. He expressed his wish that all the parties to the Kashmir dispute including representatives of Kashmiri people sit together to find an amicable solution to the 7 decades old conflict of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. Bondevik also held meeting with the representatives of All Parties Hurriyat Conference AJK Chpater and discussed matters relating to Kashmir dispute and visited Line of Control (LoC).