New Delhi: In a first, a 28-member European Parliamentary delegation is slated to visit Kashmir on Tuesday, i.e., October 29 amid global concerns over the situation in J&K following the revocation of Article 370, stated news agency IANS.
Earlier on Monday, the delegation had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. Notably, Jammu and Kashmir will be formally bifurcated into two Union Territories namely Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on October 31. The state lost its special status after the Article 370 was revoked on August 5, this year. Ever since the revocation, there has been a huge outcry from the neighbouring country Pakistan with its persistent efforts to internationalise the issue.
Therefore, in a veiled attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday asserted that “urgent action must be taken against all those who support or sponsor terrorists”, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, Ajit Doval, who hosted the delegation for lunch, briefed the members on cross-border terrorism and the constitutional changes made in Kashmir following the revocation of Article 370. Briefing the delegation, the NSA further said that the J&K government has put in all the efforts required to ensure the normal functioning of the economy as well as the educational institutions. Referring to the current scenario in J&K, sources quoted by news agency ANI said, “He (Ajit Doval) briefed that there are no restrictions on movement, 100% landline and mobile telephones are functional. There’s no shortage of essential supplies. All hospitals are functional.”
Notably, some Kashmiri leaders, including the newly-elected Block Development Council (BDC) members of J&K met the EU members. Later on Monday evening, the EU delegation had met the Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu.
This visit by the foreign delegation comes just days after a US Congressional panel questioned US State Department officials, including Assistant Secretary Alice Wells, on the current scenario in Kashmir.
(With agency inputs)