Members of European Parliament (MEPs) on Wednesday said that Kashmir should not be allowed to become “Syria or another Afghanistan” which are afflicted by anarchy and terrorism. They expressed their strong support to the Indian government’s steps to normalise situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Interacting with journalists at the end of their two-day unofficial visit to Kashmir, the EU MPs expressed strong backing for the government’s efforts to end terrorism and restore peace in the state. According to MPs, they were not here to interfere in Indian politics but to find out how they could help in addressing problems of Kashmir. Members of the EU said they support India in its war against terrorism as it is the largest democracy in the world. “We support India in finding the best solution,” they said.
The visitors advised Pakistan to hold talks with India instead of fighting or exporting terrorism. Henri Maloose of France expressed shock saying that the delegates were being labelled as “Islamophobics”, “fascists” and “racists”. He thanked the Indian government for allowing them to visit Kashmir, and see things for themselves on the ground.
The MPs also strongly condemned the killings of five innocent persons by terrorists in Kulgam on Tuesday. This was the first visit of any foreign parliamentarian/dignitary to Kashmir since August 5 when the special status of the state was abrogated. EU members of the UK, Brussels, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and others visited the Kashmir Valley and interacted with the army, civil administration, members of civil society, traders, lawyers, artisans, tour and travel operators and some politicians. The delegations visited the Badami Bagh cantonment headquarters of Indian Army’s 15 Corps immediately after their arrival in Srinagar on Tuesday.