EU MPs visiting Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorism responsible for complex situation

Updated: Oct 30, 2019, 14:37 IST | ANI | Srinagar

This is the first time that the government has allowed a foreign delegation to visit Jammu and Kashmir post-abrogation of Article 370

Members of a European lawmakers delegation are being transported towards a hotel during a lockdown in Srinagar. Picture courtesy: AFP
Members of a European lawmakers delegation are being transported towards a hotel during a lockdown in Srinagar. Picture courtesy: AFP

Srinagar: European Union parliamentary delegation on Wednesday said "terrorism" might be a cause behind unrest in the valley.

Speaking to ANI, the members, who were part of the delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation in the region following the Centre's decision to strip the region of its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, also expressed hope that Indian government will take measures to resolve the issues in the region.

This is the first time that the government has allowed a foreign delegation to visit Jammu and Kashmir post-abrogation of Article 370. British Brexit Party politician Nathan Gill said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir support Central government's decision of abrogation of Article 370. "I have an amazing experience in Kashmir. We had an opportunity yesterday to talk with a few people in Kashmir. I think the general feeling in Kashmir was that it is a right move for Kashmir. The people want to get on with their lives. They want to be able to trade make a living," he said.

MEP James Heappey extended his support to the Indian government and said, "I think the reality is that things are complicated on the ground. It is indicated from the amount of security that was needed for us that there are still issues on the ground," the Burnham-On-Sea MP said.

"I think we are supportive of what the Indian government is doing to bring peace because that is what everybody wants," he added. Thierry Mariani said that the trip was short but interesting. The Euro-MP for France's National Rally said that the problem of Kashmir is terrorism.

"The problem of Kashmir is terrorism. It is a marvelous place in India. It has everything to grow. Maybe it's a statute, maybe its terrorists or maybe it's both... I think. All of that makes the situation completely frozen," Mariani said.

Alternative for Germany (AfD) politician Nicolaus Fest urged the government to allow opposition leaders to visit Kashmir too. "If you let people of European Parliament you should also let opposition politicians from India. There is some kind of disbalance but the government should somehow address it," Fest said. Talking about the situation in the region, Fest said Kashmir has been "hotspot" for years in the region. He said that Kashmir's security situation is stressful.

"....Kashmir has been the hotspot for years in the region. As you know today terrorism is not the thing of the two countries but it is a global problem. I have always said that we have to be very careful about Kashmir. As Afghanistan was a country far-off no one knew about the country. After 9/11 everyone knew where Afghanistan was. I think we have to have a very close eye on Kashmir," he said.

"India is a beautiful country. There is a very complex situation here political situation social situation... There is tension and how to solve it is a very big problem. But I hope the government of India will do it okay," said MEP Kosma Zlotowski.

The delegation also comprised Poland's Joana Kopcinska, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Ryszard Czarnecki, Kosma Zlotowski, Bogdan Rzonca, Elzbieta Rafalska; Italy's Silvia Sardone, Gianna Gancia, Fulvio Martusciello, Guiseppe Ferrandino; France's France Jamet, Nicholas Bay, Virginie Joron, Julie Lechanteux and Maxette Pirbakas.

The other members included Germany's Bernhard Zimniok, Lars Patrick Berg; Spain's Hermann Tertsch, Belgium's Tom Vandendriessche; UK's David Richard Bull, Bill Newton Dunn, Alexandra Phillips, James Wells; Czech Republic's Tomas Zdechobsky, and Slovakia's Peter Pollak.

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