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: