First foreign delegation of European Union on Kashmir visit after removal of special status to J&K

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Srinagar:A delegation comprising of 27-member of European MPs reached Srinagar on Tuesday to assess the ground situation in Kashmir after the government gave permission for the “unofficial” visit. The EU parliamentary delegation, comprising of MPs from UK, Poland, France and other countries will interact with locals and some delegations in Kashmir valley to get a first-hand understanding of the situation over there.

Soon after landing in Srinagar, the Jammu and Kashmir administration and police personnel briefed them about all precautionary measures they are required to follow during their inspection of the Valley.

This is the first foreign delegation that has been allowed to visit Kashmir after government scrapped Article 370 in August.

Though unofficial, the government hopes that the EU delegation visit will help it shed heat after being criticized by a number of foreign leaders, including US lawmakers, for imposing restrictions on locals in Kashmir.

The 27 EU parliamentarians allowed by the government to visit Jammu and Kashmir will only be allowed to visit Srinagar while the visit to Kupwara area has been cancelled. The MPs will stay in Hotel Lalit where they will meet civil society members and Governor and his advisors. The MPs will also enjoy Shikara ride in Dal Lake.

Nathan Gill, Member of European Parliament from Wales, said it is a good opportunity for them to go into Kashmir as a foreign delegation and to discover for ourselves what is happening on the ground.