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EU delegation in Jammu and Kashmir: No objection, but why weren’t Indian MPs allowed, asks Ghulam Nabi Azad

EU delegation in Jammu and Kashmir: This is the first time the government has allowed a foreign delegation to visit J&K after it stripped the state of its special status under Article 370 on August 5.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi, Srinagar |
Updated: October 30, 2019 10:28:15 am
eu delegation, eu delegation kashmir, eu delegation kashmir visit, eu delegation kashmir visit news, eu delegation news, eu delegation today news, eu delegation jk, eu delegation jk news, jk news, jammu kashmir news, kashmir news, kashmir latest news, eu delegation live news, eu delegation in kashmir today, eu delegation kashmir visit news The delegation of European Union (EU) MPs visited Dal lake in Srinagar today. (Express Photo: Shuaib Masoodi)

EU delegation in Jammu and Kashmir: Calling it a “conducted tour”, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday said he does not have any objection to the European Union leaders’ 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.”

A delegation of 23 Members of the European Parliament landed in Srinagar on Tuesday to “assess the situation” in Jammu and Kashmir. The delegation originally comprised of 27 leaders but four of them returned to their respective countries, PTI reported. This is the first time the government has allowed a foreign delegation to visit J&K after it stripped the state of its special status under Article 370 on August 5.

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 “unique nationalism”.

The delegation had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence Monday, and was briefed separately by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Sources in the European Union mission in New Delhi told The Indian Express the MEPs were not an official delegation of the EU, and were travelling in their private capacity.

Interestingly, 22 of the 27 MPs represent the right-wing or far-right parties in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. They are broadly anti-immigration in Italy, in favour of Brexit in the UK, and against migration and belong to Marine Le Pen’s party in France, and the far-right and anti-establishment Alternative für Deutschland in Germany.

Live Blog

EU delegation in Jammu and Kashmir today: 23 members have landed in Srinagar to "assess the situation".

21:46 (IST)29 Oct 2019
Parties slam govt for allowing EU MPs to Kashmir and not local leaders

Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left, slammed the BJP government on Tuesday for allowing European Union MPs to visit Kashmir while denying permission to Indian parliamentarians, even as the BJP defended the action saying nobody has stopped them from visiting the Valley.

The Congress stepped up its attack on the government terming allowing the EU MPs a "national embarrassment" and sought accountability.

19:03 (IST)29 Oct 2019
In pics: EU delegation visit Dal lake in Srinagar

The delegation of European Union (EU) MPs visited Dal lake in Srinagar today.

(Express Photo: Shuaib Masoodi)

(Express Photo: Shuaib Masoodi)

18:30 (IST)29 Oct 2019
Modi has colonial hangover, considers EU more competent: Adhir Chowdhury

Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Chowdhury Tuesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing an Eastern Union delegation to visit Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation there.

Terming this as "paradoxical", he said Modi has a colonial hangover and views Indian delegation as "native and incompetent". Chowdhury urged the Centre to send an all party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the situation there following the abrogation of Article 370.

"It is paradoxical to note that our @PMOIndia considers EU parliamentarians worthy of offering accreditation certificate to his #Kashmir policy than the Indian counterpart, as @narendramodiji still inherits colonial hangover and views us as native and incompetent," Chowdhury said in a tweet.

18:03 (IST)29 Oct 2019
Clear sign of desperation by govt to send 'unofficial' EU delegation to Kashmir: Owaisi

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi: 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 and confusion of the Modi govt that you could not get an official delegation.

18:02 (IST)29 Oct 2019
EU members visit Dal lake in Srinagar

The delegation of European Union (EU) MPs visited Dal lake in Srinagar today.

17:49 (IST)29 Oct 2019
Why not to Jammu? NPP targets Centre over EU delegation's Kashmir visit

The National Panthers Party (NPP) on Tuesday attacked the Centre for clearing a EU delegation's visit to Kashmir alone, saying an "opportunity was lost" to draw the world attention towards the Jammu region.

A delegation of 23 Europian Union MPs, on a two-day visit to assess the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, arrived Srinagar on Tuesday to a complete shutdown and clashes between people and security forces in several parts of the city and the Valley.

"An impression is being sought to be created around the world that J&K means Kashmir alone to the neglect to Jammu region. And this is corroborated by the fact that the Centre has arranged the visit of EU team to Kashmir only," NPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh said here.

17:31 (IST)29 Oct 2019
EU members meet GoC 15 Corps, Lt General KJS Dhillon in Srinagar

The delegation of European Union members met GoC 15 Corps, Lt General KJS Dhillon today in Srinagar.

17:25 (IST)29 Oct 2019
J&K: Militants open fire at CRPF personnel deployed near school in Pulwama

Militants opened fire on CRPF personnel stationed at school in Drabgam in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday. No injuries have been reported so far. Read full story here

16:57 (IST)29 Oct 2019
Ghulam Nabi Azad: Don't object to EU MPs visit to J&K, but..

Calling it a "conducted tour", Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said he does not have any objection to the European Union leaders' 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....It's a conducted tour..."

16:24 (IST)29 Oct 2019
Govt should have allowed opposition MPs to visit Kashmir before EU MPs: Mayawati

The government should have allowed opposition party MPs to visit Jammu and Kashmir before sending EU MPs to assess the situation in the Valley,  BSP chief Mayawati said on Tuesday.

A delegation of 23 MPs from the European Union reached Srinagar on Tuesday for a two-day visit during which they will be briefed on the situation by government officials and also meet a cross-section of locals.

"...before sending EU MPs to Kashmir to assess the current situation there, it would have been better if the government had allowed the MPs of (our) country, especially opposition parties, to go there," Mayawati tweeted in Hindi.

15:00 (IST)29 Oct 2019
JK visit of EU delegation a 'PR stunt': NC

Terming the visit of European Union MPs to Jammu and Kashmir as a "PR exercise", the National Conference on Tuesday said such "stunts" are not the answer to the situation in the region.

A delegation of 23 European Union MPs arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday for a first-hand assessment of the situation in the region following the revocation of the state's special status under Article 370.

"The visit of the selected EU MPs, largely of a particular ideology, is clearly a PR exercise. It is ironical that European MPs are visiting the Valley when the state's leaders including three former Chief Ministers, are incarcerated for nearly three months now, and hundreds of others are in jails across the country," the NC said in a statement.

The party said the Centre should take "concrete steps" to resolve the issue in the state. "What the people of Kashmir think of the MPs' visit is very clear from an intensified shutdown in the Valley today," it said.

14:39 (IST)29 Oct 2019
IN PICS | EU's delegation moves in a cavalcade in Srinagar

The members of the European Union's unofficial delegation moving in a cavalcade in Srinagar on Tuesday.
(Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

Security at alert during the visit of members of the European Union's unofficial delegation in Srinagar on Tuesday. (Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

13:16 (IST)29 Oct 2019
EU MPs at Srinagar airport

The delegation of the European Union MPs arrives at Srinagar.

12:47 (IST)29 Oct 2019
Report: Four injured in clashes in J&K

At least four persons were reportedly injured after clashes broke out in Jammu and Kashmir, according to news agency PTI. The clashes broke out on the same day a delegation of 23 European Union MPs arrived in Srinagar to get a "first-hand assessment of the situation".

12:40 (IST)29 Oct 2019
23 MPs visiting J&K today, 4 MPs return to their countries

A delegation of 23 European Union MPs arrived here on Tuesday for a first-hand assessment of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The team originally comprised 27 parliamentarians, mostly from extreme right or right-wing parties, but four did not travel to Kashmir and have reportedly returned to their respective countries, PTI quoted officials as saying.

11:53 (IST)29 Oct 2019
EU MPs delegation arrives at Srinagar

The delegation of the European Union (EU) MPs arrive at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)

11:21 (IST)29 Oct 2019
'Such unique nationalism', says Priyanka Gandhi as she criticises govt

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Tuesday slammed the central government for allowing a delegation of Members of European Parliament to visit Jammu and Kashmir. "Allowing European MPs to travel and intervene in Kashmir while returning Indian MPs and leaders from the airport itself. Such unique nationalism it is," Gandhi tweeted.

11:08 (IST)29 Oct 2019
There is something very wrong with that: Rahul Gandhi on EU leaders' J&K visit

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi yesterday criticised the government for allowing the MEPs to visit Jammu and Kashmir. "MPs from Europe are welcome to go on a guided tour of Jammu & Kashmir while Indian MPs are banned & denied entry. There is something very wrong with that," Gandhi said in a tweet.

10:22 (IST)29 Oct 2019
'We told them everything': Group of Kashmiris who met MEPs

A group of Kashmiri politicians, businessmen and civil society members met the MEPs at a lunch hosted by NSA Doval in New Delhi on Monday. In the group were PDP’s Muzaffar Hussain Beig, former Congress legislator Usman Majeed and BJP’s Khalid Jehangir.

“We have to tell the story of our pain,” Beig told The Indian Express. “I was not representing PDP (there). I was invited in individual capacity.”

Majeed said: “We discussed the current situation in Kashmir and nothing else. We told them why people are angry. We told them everything. They will see it themselves tomorrow.” He too said he was there as “an individual” and not as a Congress leader.

09:56 (IST)29 Oct 2019
First visit of a foreign delegation to J&K after abolition of Article 370

The EU MPs visit marks the first visit of a foreign delegation to the Jammu and Kashmir after the Indian government stripped the autonomy of the state under Article 370 on August 5. Earlier, the government had declined US Senator Chris Van Hollen request to visit J&K to see what was happening in the Valley.

Hollen had told The Indian Express in an interview that the Indian government told him it was not the appropriate time to visit Kashmir. Read more

eu delegation, eu delegation kashmir, eu delegation kashmir visit, eu delegation kashmir visit news, eu delegation news, eu delegation today news, eu delegation jk, eu delegation jk news, jk news, jammu kashmir news, kashmir news, kashmir latest news, eu delegation live news, eu delegation in kashmir today, eu delegation kashmir visit news Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a delegation of EU MPs in New Delhi, Monday. (Reuters Photo)

EU delegation in Jammu and Kashmir LIVE UPDATES:

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence Monday, and were briefed separately by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The Prime Minister, while welcoming the delegation to India, “expressed the hope that they have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including to Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Their visit to Jammu and Kashmir should give the delegation a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the region of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, apart from giving them a clear view of the development and governance priorities of the region,” the PMO statement said.

Opposition parties slammed the government for letting EU members visit Kashmir. Congress leader Anand Sharma, also chairman of the Standing Committee on Home Ministry, told The Indian Express: “This is the ultimate disrespect to Indian Parliament and breach of our privileges. When we, as an all-party delegation, leaders of the Opposition parties and MPs, went to Srinagar… we were detained at the airport itself and never allowed to even step out or meet any Kashmiri. Our privileges were violated. And until this day, the government has not briefed Parliament. Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has not been briefed till date… But the government prefers briefing EU MPs. This stand of the government is self-defeating and contradicts our consistent position that J&K is India’s internal matter.”

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