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.