Srinagar: A 28-member delegation of the European Union (EU) Parliament on Tuesday visited Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation in the Valley following global concerns over the abrogation of Article 370. The first visit by a foreign delegation to the Valley, however, did not go down well with the opposition that asked the Centre why the MPs of the country were barred from visiting Jammu and Kashmir.
“I don’t have an objection to the European Union Parliament delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir. What I object to, is that the MPs of this country are not being allowed to go to Jammu and Kashmir,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi also lashed out at the government over the visit by the EU delegation. He said, “It is not an official delegation of European Union MPs. It has been accepted by the EU office in Delhi. This is a clear sign of desperation & confusion of the Modi govt that you could not get an official delegation.”
Throughout the day, the Parliamentarians are said to have met Srinagar residents, houseboat owners, traders and state government officials, who apprised them of the developmental work in the Valley, post the revocation of Article 370.
They then took a tour around Dal Lake and visited the Indian Army headquarters in Srinagar.
Before heading to Srinagar, the delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval national capital on Monday.
The visit by the European Union Parliament members is an unofficial one.
Earlier this month, a senior US Senator from the Democratic Party Chris Van Hollen wanted to visit Kashmir to see the situation ‘first-hand’ but the Narendra Modi-led Indian government did not allow him to do so.
It must be noted that the state will be formally bifurcated into two Union Territories, namely Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, on October 31.
Meanwhile, a shocking incident was also reported from the Valley where five workers from West Bengal were shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam. The police had to cordon off the area immediately after the attack. In another separate incident reported on the same day, terrorists fired on a CRPF deployment posted at a school in Drabgam, Pulwama district. According to updates from news agencies, some 6-7 rounds were fired at the school which was being used as an examination centre.