European Union MPs speak in favour of India after Kashmir visit
New Delhi : European Union MPs who visited Kashmir valley to check the ground situation have spoken in favour of India and its policies adapted to combat terrorism. "We fully support the country in its efforts for lasting peace and end of terror," the MPs said.
The European lawmakers were addressing select media - many, including local Kashmiri newspapers were kept out - after a tour of Srinagar that included a shikara ride on the Dal Lake on Tuesday as they visited Jammu and Kashmir under heavy security and a shutdown in parts of the state.
This was the first time since August 5 when an international team was allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir. The opposition had been criticizing the government move and said this is not fair to stop Indian leaders and allow the foreign delegation in the valley.
"We belong to a place Europe which is peaceful after years of fighting. And we want to see India becoming the most peaceful country in the world. And for that we need to stand by India in its fight against global terrorism. This visit has been an eye opener and we would definitely advocate what we have seen on ground zero," said Newton Dunn, a lawmaker from the UK.
"We are Indian citizens and we want to be Indian like all other Indian citizens... we want to have development like other parts of country, locals told us," another lawmaker said.
The MPs paid a visit to the valley in bullet proof vehicles with a security convoy as they were taken from the airport in Srinagar to a luxury hotel in the city on Tuesday.
Their visit ended with a trip to Dal lake, one of the most touristic destination in Srinagar. The MPs were seen taking the boat ride near the Centaur Hotel, where more than 30 politicians and activists have been under detention since August 5.