Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg in New Delhi on January 7
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg in New Delhi on January 7

India, Pak can resolve Kashmir issue without any help from outside: Norway

ANI | Updated: Jan 07, 2019 20:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 7 (ANI): Norway on Monday said that India and Pakistan could resolve the issue of Kashmir between themselves, and “without help from outside.”

“Both India and Pakistan are big enough countries...They can decrease tension between them without help from outside,” Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg said here.

She stated that the controversial visit of former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik to Kashmir was in his “private” capacity. “When it comes to his visit, he went as a private citizen. He has an institute for peace and security. It is a private institute in Norway. He was invited. Our government's policy is clear—if we are going to help someone, they have to ask for it,” she said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had denied Indian government’s role in organising the visit and meetings of Bondevik to Jammu and Kashmir in November last year. Bondevik had paid a 'surprise' visit to the state and met top separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

Ruling out any mediatory role between India and Pakistan, Norway urged the two countries to find time to talk about a peaceful solution to Kashmir.

“Personally, I don’t believe that military solutions solve problems. I believe in peaceful solutions. I believe in the participation of women and youth in peace negotiations. I mean you can have a victory through military activity but you will still have problems within,” she said.

“It's not Kashmir directed but it's all the places in the world. We see it in Syria,” Norway’s Prime Minister Solberg added.

“Even if there is (a military) solution, it won't be a long-standing peaceful solution because cooperation is needed between partners to create that. Pakistan and India need to find the time together to talk about things,” Solberg outlined.

The Norwegian Prime Minister also voiced the country's support for India to be a part of the Nuclear Supplier's Group (NSG). "We would like India to be part of NSG," the leader said before adding that further discussions will be held on this on January 8.

Solberg is currently on a three-day visit to India from January 7 to 9. She is slated to deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue on January 8. (ANI)