“If we were Nazis, the people would not choose us. I have also been to Pakistan and Syria. Terrorists just fight their battles,” an EU MP said.
New Delhi| A delegation of 23 European Union (EU) MPs is on a two-day visit to Kashmir – a first after Article 370 is abrogated. On Wednesday, lawmakers held a joint press conference. One MP said that they have not come to India to do politics. He said the MPs have come to see the situation in Kashmir, which is suffering from terrorism. “People here want development and good hospitals. Some people are calling us Nazis, but if we were, the people would not choose us as representatives,” he said. The MPs reaction came after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had said that the EU MPs were not sent by the union and alleged that they are Neo-Nazis.
One MP said, “I have been to India many times before. There is a lot of hype about Kashmir which is not right. We have nothing to do with politics here. We just came to see the facts. Want to know what steps are being taken to bring life on the normal track here? ”
“The people of Kashmir said that they are Indians and they want to help every possible government for development. Kashmiris want good hospitals and jobs. If we were Nazis, the people would not choose us. I have also been to Pakistan and Syria. Terrorists just fight their battles. There is a great war going on against international terrorism,” he said.
‘Corruption in Kashmir, people do not get money sent from the center’
On the day the MPs visited the Kashmir valley, five non-Kashmiri labourers were killed by militants in Kulgam. Reacting to it, another MP said, “I extend my condolences to the families of the workers who were killed by the terrorists yesterday. In Europe, we fought against each other for many years, but now we have learned to live in peace. There is a very strong relationship between Europe and India. India is fighting against terrorism. We have come here to know about this situation. We talked to people. People in Kashmir said that big funds come from the central government, but they do not reach the citizens. There is a lot of corruption here. ”
“Stand with India on action against terrorism”
The MPs further appreciated India’s efforts against curbing terrorism in the valley. “Terrorism is a problem not just for India, but for us and the world. We are with India. India is bigger than many countries in Europe. We want India to take stringent action against terrorism, we stand with it. We have come to know the status of Kashmir. We are not Nazis. We are not Hitler supporters. We hope that Europe will be able to get accurate information about Kashmir and India,” a member of the delegation said.
‘Efforts to improve Kashmir better, ask people to move here’
The UK MP said that 370 is an internal matter of India. There is no interference with it. We also tried to resolve the dispute between India and Pakistan earlier. Here we talked to many people. Good work for development. Press freedom in India is a good thing. We have been chosen by our people freely. We are not Nazis. Other MPs said that the steps the government is taking to improve Kashmir are right. We will go to Europe and tell them. The delegation has MPs from 8 countries. We will tell the people of Europe about moving to Kashmir. We must support India. They will go to Europe and tell the situation of Pakistan and the minorities there.
EU MPs take a Shikara Ride in Dal Lake, meet people
27 EU lawmakers had to travel to Kashmir, but on Tuesday 4 of them returned to Delhi. Reportedly, these four had sought to meet the Kashmiri locals without security, which the government did not consider. On the first day, the lawmakers met with the sarpanches, students, women, traders and fruit farmers in Srinagar. They took a Shikara trip to Dal Lake. Army commanders informed them of the situation in Kashmir. Principal Secretary BVR Subramanian and DGP also briefed the lawmakers about the situation in the state. EU lawmakers met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Monday.
‘Government laying red carpet for European MPs’
Meanwhile, the opposition targetted the government over foreign MPs allowed in Kashmir while Indian politicians are not. Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted that he was detained along with Indian MPs during his visit to Kashmir and sent back from Srinagar. He, however, said the government is laying the red carpet for European MPs. Earlier, Congress Anand Sharma said in a statement that European MPs are going to Kashmir. They are being made aware of the whole information. This is against the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament and violates the special rights of Indian MPs.
We have nothing to hide, just to show: BJP
Retorting the Congress’ criticism, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, “When Article-370 was removed, some necessary steps were taken for peace. As soon as the situation became normal, all the stops were removed. Now we have nothing to hide, just to show. If you want to go to Kashmir, the Congress leaders can also catch a flight. Go to Gulmarg, go to Anantnag, go for a walk. Who has stopped them? Kashmir has been opened for all foreign tourists. There is no point in raising questions about the visits of foreign MPs. ”