28 EU MPs on ‘private’ visit to J&K tomorrow, briefed by NSA and PM
There is scepticism if the delegation on a private visit will be allowed to meet the political leaders under detention even as a BJP MP has demanded that the visit be called off
A delegation of 28 MPs of the European Parliament were briefed on the situation in Kashmir on Monday in New Delhi by the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the Prime Minister. The delegation, on a private visit, is expected to fly to Kashmir on Tuesday. It is not clear though whether they will be allowed to meet the incarcerated political leaders including the three former chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.
The visit comes barely a week after a scathing hearing on Kashmir at the US House of Representatives, followed by the request of six US Senators for permission to visit Kashmir and see the ground realities for themselves.
The ‘private’ visit of the EU delegation appears to be part of Government of India’s campaign to reassure the international community that there is no violation of human rights in J & K, that by and large the situation on the ground has remained peaceful and normal and that people in J & K by and large have accepted the revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A.
The visit comes when most mainstream political leaders are still under detention, three months after the lockdown. Even key members of the civil society and business leaders remain in custody.
Reaction to the planned ‘private’ visit ranged from BJP MP Subramanian Swamy demanding cancellation of the visit to the daughter of Mehbooba Mufti hoping that the delegation is allowed to meet the leaders under detention.
Several tweets expressed scepticism while others lauded the Government for being ‘open’ about the Kashmir situation.
Some of the tweets sum up the reaction:
- If 28 European Parliament members are allowed to take stock of situation in Kashmir, wonder why the same courtesy can’t be extended to American senators. Won’t be surprised if GOIs indulging in normalcy acrobatics again & orchestrating ‘normalcy’ certificates.
- Hope they get a chance to speak to the people, local media, doctors and civil society members. The iron curtain between Kashmir & the world needs to be lifted and GOI must be held accountable for pushing J&K into turmoil
- Lutyens Media has crossed all levels of dimwitness. If media is not allowed to visit Kashmir, they have problems. And when EU MPs are visiting, they again have problem. They cannot be elated that Kashmir is under peace and there is no death due to terrorism since long.
- I am surprised that the MEA has arranged for European Union MPs, in their private capacity [Not EU's official delegation],to visit Kashmir area of J&K. This is a perversion of our national policy. I urge the Government cancel this visit because it is immoral.
- Dovalman must have done the 'bandobast' - open shops, markets crowded with 'customers', restaurants serving biryani, vehicles plying, children in school.. all is possible for a day.
- Samosas.. kebabs etc on plates... EU members will go back after giving satisfactory reports. May ask for speedy normalcy in j&k... That's it.