European parliamentary panel to visit Kashmir today

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SRINAGAR: A European parliamentary panel consisting of around 28 MPs will visit Kashmir on October 29, media reports said on Tuesday.

PM Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval briefed the delegation and also discussed the issue of Kashmir and the situation there after the abrogation of Article 370. A 28-member delegation of the EU (European Union) parliamentarians will meet NSA Ajit Doval on Monday. The delegation will also call on Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday, India Today reported.

Media reports also suggest that 30 members of the panel, who arrived in India on Sunday, will be briefed by top officials on ground situation in Kashmir. They will meet residents and owners of the boats in Dal lake. This comes after the international gaze was turned towards Kashmir after Article 370 was abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

The members on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NSA Ajit Doval. There should be zero tolerance for militancy, Modi told the delegation that had called on him. Expressing hope that the parliamentarians’ visit to various parts of the country will be fruitful, Modi said the visit to Jammu and Kashmir should give them a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

PM Modi welcoming EU team, image by ANI

The prime minister also hoped that it will give them a clear view of the development and governance priorities of the region, it said.

Meanwhile, reacting to the development, former CM Mehbooba Mufti hoped that the iron curtain between Kashmir the world is lifted. She said that the Indian government must be held accountable for “pushing Jammu and Kashmir into turmoil”. Iltija Mufti, from the Twitter handle of her mother and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, said, “Hope they get a chance to speak to the people, local media, doctors and civil society members. The iron curtain between Kashmir and the world needs to be lifted and the government must be held accountable for pushing J&K into turmoil.”

Kashmir has been under a communication lockdown ever since the government abrogated Article 370. While postp paid phones and landline services were resumed after over 70 days of abrogation, there are still a number of restrictions including Section 144 which are in place in the Valley.

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