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India and Pakistan PMs to snub Nobel ceremony

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India and Pakistan PMs to snub Nobel ceremony
Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Malala Yousafzai. Photo: ANDERS WIKLUND / TT / NTB scanpix
12:02 CET+01:00
The work towards brokering peace between India and Pakistan that earned Malala Yousafzai a Nobel Peace Prize this year, faces belittlement after both nations' prime ministers refused to attend the Nobel Awards ceremony held in Norway next month.

The news that both India and Pakistan would not be sending their prime ministers to celebrate Yousafzai's award is a blow to the 17-year-old activist's plans for peace between the two nations.

Following her Peace Prize award in October, Yousafzai said in her speech of thanks: “I ask Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif to join us when we receive the peace prize.”
 
It is now clear that neither she nor Indian Kailash Satyarthi, with whom she shares the peace prize, will get their wishes fulfilled.
 
The Nobel Institute’s director, Geir Lundestad, says to NTB: “It seems like it's not going to happen.”
 
"We don't expect them to come. There are no plans for it and they are not on the guest lists of the peace prize winners. So we have no expectations of it happening.”
 
One of the advisors of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's Prime Minister, stated recently on Radio Mashaal that the Prime Minister will likely not come to Oslo, because he has an official visit to China at the same time.
 
The relationship between Norway and China has been tense since the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.
 
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t want to respond to the question from Radio Mashaal about participating in the Nobel ceremony in Oslo City Hall on December 10th.
 
Lundestad informed there will be representatives from the two countries, but not at a very high level.
 
He says: "There is no expectation of political conversations at a high level.”
 
The relationship between India and Pakistan has been tense for several decades. The two nuclear powers have fought several wars against each other and they have still to solve the problematic Kashmir border conflict.
 
Lundestad, also secretary for the Nobel committee, pointed out earlier that the committee normally doesn’t invite prominent guests, but it is the prize winners who invite who they want to the Nobel ceremony.
 
The Nobel committee was positive to the idea of a meeting between Sharif and Modi in Oslo.
 
Lundestad said the day after the winners were announced: "If the Peace Prize could be used as the beginning for contact on a high level between these two countries, it would be highly positive.”
 
Following their joint Peace Prize award, Yousafzai and Satyarthi agreed to work together to help broker peace between Pakistan and India.
 
Yousafzai said: "I wish that the two countries will have dialogue about peace, development and progress instead of fighting against each other.”
 
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