Kashmir Indepth

EU delegation’s Kashmir visit draws flak from opposition parties, BJP leader

Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor question EU MPs’ visit to Kashmir

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Srinagar, Oct 29 : The visit of European MPs to Kashmir on Tuesday evoked sharp criticism with BJP MP also castigating the Union Government for allowing the delegation’s visit to J&K in their “personal capacity”.

According to wire service— the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Member Parliament Subramanian Swamy felt disappointed by the decision taken by the Union Government of India for allowing the European Parliamentarian panel to visit Jammu & Kashmir, to assess the prevailing situation in the region post abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UT’s) of J&K & Ladakh.

As the delegation comprising twenty seven Parliamentarian members of the European Union visited Jammu and Kashmir to access the situation in the valley which continued to remain affected even on the 86th consecutive day.

The Parliamentarians engaged to talk among the locals of the valley to get the better views about the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

Whereas the BJP MP Subramanian Swamy called the visit undemocratic by saying, “ I am surprised that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has arranged for the European Union  MP’s in their private capacity (excluding EU’s official delegation), to visit Kashmir region of J&K. This is a perversion of our national policy. I urge the Government to cancel this visit because it is immoral.”

Even several members from the opposition trolled the Government on twitter about EU Parliamentarians Kashmir visit, “If EU delegation visit to Kashmir can be facilitated by #BJP Govt then why can’t Indian leader’s belonging to opposition parties’ visit Kashmir? Indians have to knock door of Supreme Court to visit kashmir and EU delegation is welcomed by PMO, why no level playing field?” Jaiveer Shergill, Supreme Court lawyer and National Spokesperson Congress, wrote on his twitter handle.

Shashi Tharoor, a senior Congress leader also tweeted, “My request, made during the Lok Sabha debate on Article 370, for an All Party delegation of MP’s to visit to see the situation themselves, has still not been accepted. But members of the European Parliament can travel as our Government’s guest? What an #InsulttoIndiandemocracy!”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took to his twitter handle and wrote: “MP’s from Europe are welcome to go on a guided tour of J&K while Indian MP’s are banned and denied entry. There is something very wrong with that.”

While as the former incarcerated Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti, “If scrapping Article 370 integrated J&K into India, why is Shri Rahul Gandhi barred from visting Kashmir? Instead a group of far right & fascist leanings EU MP’s is allowed by GOI. Your ticket to Kashmir is possible only if you’re a fascist with a visceral hatred for muslims.” Iltija is operating her mother’s twitter handle.

It’s pertinent to mention that a 27 member delegation comprising members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) from Italy, Britain, France, Germany, and Poland visited Srinagar on Tuesday.

On Monday they met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended a lunch hosted by National security advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. They also met few mainstream leaders, including former Minister Muzzafar Beigh from PDP and the winners of the Block Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir last week

Whereas, Prime Minister of India in an official statement expressed, “I hope that MEP’s have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir,” The official statement also reads as, “Their visit to Jammu and Kashmir should give the delegation a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the region of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh; apart from giving them a clear view of the development and governance priorities of the region.”  (KNO)

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