The Shiv Sena on Wednesday questioned the Centre’s decision to allow a delegation of Members of the European Parliament to visit Kashmir to understand the situation in the region after the scrapping of its special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said: “What was the need to allow the EU delegation when everything is normal in Jammu and Kashmir? Kashmir is not an international matter.”
The party asked why the EU delegation was allowed to visit the state if the Centre remains opposed to the intervention of the United Nations in Kashmir. “Is this checking by the European Union delegation not an attack on India’s freedom?” the editorial asked.
The party said that politicians from within India are still not allowed to visit Kashmir. In such circumstances, only Union Home Minister Amit Shah can answer why a European Union delegation was allowed to visit the state, the article said.
While the Shiv Sena praised the decision of the Narendra Modi-led government to abolish the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, it added that the European delegation should peacefully enjoy their stay in the state, and then return home. The Shiv Sena hoped that the delegation’s visit would not damage the situation in Kashmir.
The delegation of 23 members of the European Parliament, mostly from right-wing nationalist political parties, spent Tuesday in Srinagar for an unofficial visit. They had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval a day ahead of the visit.
After the visit, a member of the delegation said that the group was “conscious” that “some people were being kept away from us”. Hermann Tertsch of Spain’s Vox Party said the group was in the state to get some news about what is happening, but did not have enough facts to draw a conclusion.
Another member of the delegation, Bernhard Zimniok of the German far-right Alternative für Deutschland party, said Europe should mediate in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
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