EU delegation wraps up Kashmir visit, state Article 370 was India’s internal matter

Hyderabad: The 23-member delegation from the European Parliament (MEP) said they don’t support terrorism in Kashmir and that Article 370 was India’s internal matter. They were addressing media personnel at the technical airport in Srinagar on the second day of their Kashmir trip.

The members of the “unofficial” delegation, several of whom have been facing criticism for belonging to right-wing groups, said terrorism was a global problem. “We support India for their fight against terrorism,” the delegation told reporters.

On Tuesday, after arriving in Srinagar, the MEP met with top army officials at the 15 Corps headquarters of the Indian army in Badami Bagh. They later took a shikara ride on the iconic Dal Lake.

Even as members of the opposition parties in India have been barred from visiting Kashmir, this was the first international delegation that came to Kashmir after Article 370 was revoked. This has given enough ammunition to the opposition to target the Modi government.

“I think if you let in European Union parliamentarians, you should also let in politicians from the opposition. There is a form of imbalance here, and the government should somehow address it,” Nicolaus Fest, a member of the delegation, told a news agency in Srinagar

The delegation said India is a peaceful country with historical links with Europe. The MEP said that they met with different delegations in Kashmir who apprised them about the situation in Kashmir

“We had good meetings with civil society members. One group told me that there is too much corruption in Kashmir, and the money never reaches citizens. We are here to get facts and information,” said Thierry Mariana, a member from France.

The delegation also stressed on ending terrorism in Kashmir. The delegations said that development should be given a chance in Kashmir. “I don’t want Kashmir to become another Afghanistan, as we want development. The change of status will give a better chance of students to go to school,” said a delegation member, Henri Malosse.

Kashmir is witnessing a complete shutdown while the delegation members were visiting. Shops and business establishments remained closed, and even private transport was off the roads.

Zaffar Iqbal

Zaffar Iqbal is a senior journalist from Jammu and Kashmir. In a career spanning 20 years, he has reported on a wide range of issues ranging from conflict, armed encounters, environment, crime, politics culture and human rights. Zafar has worked as bureau chief (J&K)/ North India for NDTV- (New Delhi Television and Tiranga TV)- leading teams of journalists for producing quality TV news and online video content.

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