The 23-member European Union (EU) delegation that is on a two-day visit to Kashmir after Article 370 was removed held a press conference On Wednesday to say they were happy with what they had seen in the Valley so far. An MP said on the occasion, “We have not come here to do politics. We have come here to see the situation of Kashmir, which has been suffering from terrorism.”
Taking exception to a comment by an opposition politician in India, the EU parliamentarian said, “Some people are calling us Nazis, but if we were so, the people would not have chosen us.” Association with Nazis or Fascists is taboo in Europe. Earlier, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had said that the EU had not sent MPs and that these people were Nazis.
On Tuesday, 27 MPs were to go to Kashmir, but four returned from Delhi when they demanded to meet the local people without the security cover, which the government did not accept.
Congress and PDP leaders protested against the visit, calling it a violation of the special rights of the Indian Parliament and MPs.
On the first day, EU MPs met panches and sarpanches (members of governing bodies in Indian villages), students, women, traders and fruit growers in Srinagar. They went on a trek to the Dal Lake. Indian Army commanders informed them of the security scenario in Kashmir. Chief secretary BVR Subramanian and DGP briefed the MPs about the administrative and law-and-order condition of the state.
EU MPs had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national security adviser Ajit Doval on Monday. EU MP from Wales Nathan Gill had said that this was a good opportunity for the foreign delegation to go to Kashmir and take stock of the current situation.
‘Government is laying red carpet for European MPs’
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted that he was detained and sent back from Srinagar when he had led a delegation of Indian MPs to Kashmir. However, he noted, the government was laying the red carpet for European MPs.
Congress politician Anand Sharma had said in a statement that European MPs were going to Kashmir where they were vital information was being shared with them. “This is against the sovereignty of Indian Parliament and is a violation of the special rights of Indian MPs,” he said.
‘We have nothing to hide, only to show’
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain reacted to the opposition chorus against the EU parliamentarians’ Kashmir visit, saying, “When Article 370 was removed, some necessary steps were taken for peacekeeping. As soon as the situation became normal, all the restrictions were lifted. Now we have nothing to hide, only to show. If you want to go to Kashmir, Congress leaders can catch the next flight.”
Hussain said, “Go to Gulmarg, visit Anantnag, take a walk, go for a walk. Who has stopped them? Kashmir has been opened to all tourists, domestic and foreign. In such a situation, there is no point in raising questions about the visit of foreign lawmakers.”