EU lawmakers visit Kashmir
A group of European Union MPs, which met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Monday, arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday amid questions raised by the opposition on the visit at a time politicians at home have been barred from the state amid heavy restrictions for over two months.
The MPs, drawn mainly from far right parties, are the first international visitors to Jammu and Kashmir since the government on August 5 announced the end of special status to the state under Article 370 and split it into two union territories. Only three of the 27 MPs belong to the Left or liberal parties. All of them are visiting India in their private capacity, reports NDTV.
The group is expected to visit the Army headquarters, where they will be briefed and they are likely to have lunch.
The MPs will be taken to two hotels, where they are expected to meet traders, houseboat owners and state government officials. But Sheikh Ashiq, President, Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce and Industry said he hadn't received any invite so far.
"It is a good opportunity for us to go into Kashmir as a foreign delegation and be able to see firsthand for ourselves what's happening on the ground," European Parliament member Nathan Gill told news agency ANI from the bus that took the MPs to the airport for their flight to Srinagar.
Thierry Mariani, a Euro MP for France's far-right National Rally, was quoted as telling Agence France-Presse (AFP), "we are going to see the situation in Kashmir, at least what they want to show us".