After German chancellor Angela Merkel, it is Finland’s turn to raise concerns about the situation in Kashmir. Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto, who was in town this week to meet his counterpart, S Jaishankar, told TOI, “We have requested that the diplomatic community here or international observers of the UN should visit the area and get first-hand experience on the situation.”
The newspaper The Times Of India quoted Finland, which holds the rotating EU presidency until January 2020 as having said his message to Jaishankar was, “We are feeling that the situation is not sustainable now and I can see the concerns have been raised by many other international players as well. We are concerned about news that some of the politicians are still in detention or under house arrest. The basic freedoms and freedom of expression of opinion is limited.”
Haavisto also asked for India and Pakistan to settle the border once and for all. “We see that a final solution on the border should happen between Pakistan and India and they should start negotiations on this issue.” Finland’s position is similar to many other countries who have now accepted the abrogation of Article 370 as a given, and want India and Pakistan to finally settle the border. Indian leaders have raised their voices recently about taking back Pakistan Administered Kashmir.
The Finland foreign minister met some human rights groups as well. “Really, we see the risk that when this kind of situation is prolonged it usually doesn’t get easier with time. That was our message.”
However, Finland and India are moving forward together on next-generation technology, particularly 5G. Along with Huawei, Nokia from Finland is one of the handful of global companies with 5G capability, reported The Times Of India.