On Wednesday, 23 European Union MPs who are visiting Jammu and Kashmir slammed Pakistan for sponsoring terror as an instrument of state policy. They held a press conference and made the purpose of their Kashmir visit clear. They said that their tour was reported in a wrong way, the controversy over the tour is not right.
On the issue of terrorism, the EU MPs said that they were united in the fight against terrorism, as terrorism plagued Europe as well. When asked whether they would submit the report of the visit to the European Parliament, they said, however, they wouldn’t. Following are the 10 main points they made at the press conference.
Terrorism in India is a global problem today and the EU parliamentarians strongly support India against terrorism. An EU MP said Pakistan funded terrorists: “Terrorism is the biggest problem in Jammu and Kashmir and we are with India in the war against it.”
EU MPs said that they, as much as the whole world, were concerned about the condition of Christians in Pakistan. On the advisory issued by many countries on Kashmir, an MP said that he would rather ask Europeans to visit Kashmir.
The EU MPs shared with the press that they took tips from the Indian Army on tackling terror. He expressed satisfaction with the pace of development in Kashmir.
Regarding Article 370, EU MPs said that this was an internal matter of India. India and Pakistan should talk to each other on this. The MPs said that they did not get time to meet more people during the tour.
The EU MPs said that the tour was wrongly publicised while it was a normal visit. An MP said that they had nothing to do with Indian politics and that the people of Kashmir wanted development and peace.
An EU MP said, “We are in Kashmir to understand your problem and we are not supporters of Hitler,” referring to a remark by AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi that they were “Nazis”.
The European parliamentarians said that visiting Kashmir was a good experience and “we do not want to see Jammu and Kashmir becoming another Afghanistan. We have fought against terror all over the world.”
Another EU MP described the killing of workers in Kashmir as painful. She expressed grief over the killing of labourers from West Bengal.
Yet another MP said, “I have come to India about 20 times in the past 40 years. I have visited many cities in India. Our aim was to get information about Jammu and Kashmir. Conditions in Kashmir are now almost resolved.”
The parliamentarian said that there used to be a lot of corruption in Kashmir and now the situation is improving there. He said that the people of Kashmir wanted peace, schools and colleges.