Kashmir Indepth

Not here to interfere in Indian politics, EU delegation says in J&K

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The unofficial delegation of 23 European Union MPs, who visited Jammu and Kashmir, Wednesday said that they are not here to interfere in Indian politics.

In a press briefing, the delegation also said that they regret the news of the killing of five workers by terrorists and all problems of Kashmir is linked to terrorism. “Terrorism is a major factor. Innocents are being targetted,” an EU MP said.

The delegation also said that they had nothing to do with the Indian politics and they visited the state to meet the common people. “We have no interest in Indian politics. We just wanted to meet the common people. Coming to Kashmir was a pleasant experience. Work is progressing in right direction here. People of Kashmir want peace and development. They want schools and hospitals.”

Another leader of the delegation said that they do not want Kashmir to become another Afghanistan. “Terrorism in Kashmir is not only the matter of India but also for the international community. We do not want Kashmir to become another Afghanistan,” he said.
“We had a short visit, but we were concerned about the future of Kashmir. The state has all the elements to become a dynamic region of India. Kashmir was backwards before (abrogation of Article 370). There is not hope that the change in status will help reverse the situation,” another MP said.

On Tuesday, the delegation was handed over a five-page brief on J&K by the Centre, providing them with a condensed account of events that unfolded in the Valley over the past three months. The delegation was also briefed by state government officials for two hours over a dinner meeting about “Article 370, new developmental vision of Government of India in J&K and disruption in public life by terrorist attacks”.

Meanwhile, the Opposition had called it a “conducted tour” and lamented that the Indian MPs were not allowed to visit the Valley. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday said he does not have any objection to the European Union leaders’ delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir. “What I object to, is that the MPs of this country are not being allowed to go to Jammu and Kashmir.”

The delegation originally comprised of 27 leaders but four of them returned to their respective countries, PTI reported. This is the first time the government has allowed a foreign delegation to visit J&K after it stripped the state of its special status under Article 370 on August 5.

The delegation had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence Monday, and was briefed separately by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Courtesy Indian Express

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