On Thursday, August 17th, Pakistan’s former president, Pervez Musharraf gave a lecture at the Nobel Peace Center. In addition to being the museum for the Nobel Peace Prize, the center functions as an arena for topical conversation and debate. Some of these events are programmed by the Nobel Peace Center, others by external partners. This time the Norwegian organization, Dialogue for Peace was responsible for the content and for hosting the event. Former President Musharraf was not invited to Norway by the Nobel Peace Center. His lecture was about security policy and the current situation in Pakistan and the South Asian region and approximately 150 people attended the event.
As the floor was opened for questions, the discussion between Musharraf’s followers and opponents escalated. When some participants attempted to silence and remove critical voices, we decided to stop the event.
At the Nobel Peace Center we aim to have an open house. We want different, also critical, voices to be heard. We will not accept open debate to be hindered, but we will never use force to achieve it. Consequently, we found it necessary to cancel the Q&A and stop this event. We deeply regret how this turned out.
Facts about the Nobel Peace Center
- one of Norway's most visited museums with app 250 000 vistors per year
- presents the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their work, in addition to telling the story of Alfred Nobel
- is an arena for debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution
- is internationally recognized for its emphasis on documentary photography and interactive technology
- presents changing exhibitions, engaging digital solutions, films, seminars and events
- is an independent foundation, with the Norwegian Nobel Committee appointing the board
- Olav Njølstad is the leader of the board, Liv Tørres is the Executive Director
- is financed by a combination of public and private funds
- the main sponsors and collaborating partners are Hydro, Telenor Group and ABB