Finland’s FM says situation in IOK not normal
New Delhi, November 07, 2019 (PPI-OT): Foreign Minister of Finland, which holds the rotating presidency of European Union until January 2020, has said that situation in not normal in occupied Kashmir. The Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto in an interview in New Delhi said that India should allow the UN observers and diplomatic missions to visit occupied Kashmir. He rejected last week’s visit by a delegation of selected European Lawmakers to occupied Kashmir for not being representational enough.
He said, the MEPs delegation was not a multi-party and politically balanced delegation. He said, he doesn’t want to criticise if anyone is travelling and reporting about the situation in Kashmir, but it is good if people who have expertise about the situation or on human rights, freedom of the media issues etc. are involved. “As a former UN person, I would rely on United Nations observers, and in this kind of situation they may be the most unbiased,” he added.
To a query that during a visit here last week, German Chancellor, Merkel said the situation for people in occupied Kashmir is unsustainable, the Finland foreign minister said, the situation is not normal. “Shops are not open, people can’t go to work, or others are not able to harvest. News like this normally means that economic development is worsening too, and people’s livelihoods are becoming difficult, so this is also a concern,” he added.
To another question, Pekka Haavisto said that in his meetings with the Indian Foreign Minister, S Jaishankar, during his recent visit to Finland had expressed concerns about human rights and freedom of speech and the detention and house arrest of politicians in occupied Kashmir. “At that time, we had expressed our concerns about human rights and freedom of speech and the detention of politicians. We had the same agenda during this visit, and want to ask about the possibility to have international observers, including UN observers to travel up to Kashmir. At least if the diplomatic community based in Delhi could visit the region, it would create more confidence about what is going on,” he said.
About the Kashmir dispute, he said, “Our other message is that there must be a final settlement of the situation, as we believe the tensions between India and Pakistan are unsustainable, and they must find a way to sit down and find a solution.”
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