Narendra Modi government to host 23 European Union members in valley
New Delhi : PM Narendra Modi government has agreed to host 23 members of the European Parliament, currently on a visit to India, in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday so that they can check the ground situation in the valley after the nullification of Article 370 of Indian constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
This will be the first time any international delegation would be paying a visit in the valley after August 5, when the Indian government passed a resolution to split Jammu and Kashmir in to two union territories. A set of local politicians were also put on house arrest when the decision was made.
On Monday, 27 MPs from the European Parliament met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his Lok Kalyan Marg residence. They were also briefed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who pointed out that Article 370 was always of a temporary nature and that Pakistan did not object to J&K’s inclusion as a state of the Indian Union.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also explained India's stand behind the decision and claimed that the prime objective behind making legislative changes in the valley was to achieve peace and ensure development in the region.
The 27 MPs were then briefed by Doval for around 40 minutes on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. He told them that the restrictions put in place after August 5 were necessary to ensure there were no attacks by the Pakistan-based terror groups.
BN Dunn, one of the parliamentarians who met the PM told news agency ANI that Modi briefed the delegation on the nullification of Article 370, but that he wanted “to see on the ground, how it actually is and talk to some local people”. “What we want is normalcy and peace for everyone,” he added.
In his briefing, Doval said there were now no restrictions on movement; that all land lines and mobile phones were operational; and that all hospitals were functioning. Of the 27 members, 23 will leave for Srinagar on Tuesday and spend two days in the region, meeting civilians, local journalists, and officials of the state administration. They will also be given a tour of Srinagar. Jammu & Kashmir will be broken up into two Union Territories on October 31.
Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, and who now handles her mother Twitter account, posted: “Hope they get a chance to speak to the people, local media, doctors and civil society members. The iron curtain between Kashmir & the world needs to be lifted and GOI must be held accountable for pushing J&K into turmoil.”