EU delegation in J&k LIVE Updates: MPs arrive at Srinagar airport, to ‘asses situation’ :- A delegation of 23 Members of the European Parliament landed in Srinagar on Tuesday to “assess the situation” in Jammu and Kashmir. According to the reports, the delegation originally comprised 27 leaders but four of them returned to their respective countries. This is the first time the government has allowed a foreign delegation to visit J&K after it scrapped the state of its special status under Article 370 on August 5.
EU delegation in J&k LIVE Updates
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra became the latest Opposition leader to criticise the Centre for allowing the delegation to visit the state but not permitting Indian leaders to move out of Srinagar airport. She called it a “unique nationalism”.
Reportedly, the delegation had met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence on Monday and was briefed separately by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Sources in the European Union mission in New Delhi said that the MEPs were not an official delegation of the EU, and were travelling in their private capacity.
Notably, 22 of the 27 MPs represent the right-wing or far-right parties in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
At 9:18 AM, the delegation of European Union (EU) MPs scheduled to visit Kashmir today, left for Delhi Airport from their hotel.
The delegation of 27 MPs will stay in Srinagar. As per reports, their scheduled visit to Kupwara has been cancelled.
MPs arrive at Srinagar airport, to ‘asses situation’
Meanwhile, Nathan Gill, Member of European Parliament from Wales said, “It is a good opportunity for us to go into Kashmir as a foreign delegation and to be able to see firsthand for ourselves what is happening on the ground.”
In a tweet from Mehbooba Mufti’s account which is being operated by her daughter Sana Iltija Javed, the need for lifting the iron curtain between Kashmir and the world was emphasised. “Hope they get a chance to speak to the people, local media, doctors and civil society members. The iron curtain between Kashmir and the world needs to be lifted and the government of India must be held accountable for pushing Jammu and Kashmir into turmoil,” the tweet read.
At 11:50 AM, the European Union delegation comprising 27 MPs has landed in Srinagar and their assessment of the situation in Kashmir will begin shortly.
Meanwhile, earlier, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had slammed the government for trying to build a “rhetoric” by concealing the “real situation” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Reportedly, before starting off their assessment of the Valley, the delegation of European Union (EU) MPs will be briefed by the Jammu and Kashmir administration and police personnel.
At 1:50 PM, just before the EU delegation of MPs start their assessment of Kashmir, there are reports of stone-pelting emerging from pockets of South Kashmir and Srinagar.
Khalid Jehangir, BJP leader who attended NSA’s lunch with European MPs delegation, said that the sole purpose of the visit is to give them an understanding of the present situation in Kashmir. He said the delegation will talk to people and listen to their views on government’s move to scrap Article 370.
Jehangir further said that the government’s first priority is peace in Kashmir, especially at a time when its neighbours (Pakistan) is trying to sabotage it. He added,
“As a Kashmiri, I think Kashmir should be open for everyone to see how we are living and what these leaders gave us. The whole world should know, nothing to hide.”
At 2:10 PM, the army sources revealed that the European Union MPs’ delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir today would be briefed by security forces in the 15 Corps headquarters in Srinagar.