A delegation of members of the European Parliament called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval in New Delhi on Monday.
The members of the European Parliament (MEPs) discussed the Kashmir issue and the situation prevailing in the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The delegation will visit Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, according to reports.
Prime Minister Modi, who met the delegation at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, appreciated the importance the Parliamentarians attach to their relationship with India by visiting right at the beginning of their term.
PM Modi expressed hope that they will have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir. “Their visit to J-K should give the delegation a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the region, apart from giving a clear view of development and governance priorities of the region,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
PM Modi also called for urgent action against all those who support or sponsor terrorists or back such activities and organizations or use terrorism as a state policy. He further urged the EU Parliament members to show zero tolerance for terrorism.
On August 5, the Centre decided to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories after the abrogation of Article 370, and restrictions were imposed in the Valley.
The delegation visit to the Valley comes on the heels of a US Congressional meeting in Washington, where a group of lawmakers expressed concern about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370.
Seeking a roadmap to political and economic normalcy in Kashmir, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells asked India to ease the restrictions in the troubled region.
The US has also demanded an immediate release of all political detainees, adding that it has seen “progress” in easing of restrictions.
The US remains “deeply concerned” about the situation in the Valley where daily life of nearly eight million residents has been severely impacted since the decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and to “detain without charge” political leaders and restrict communications, Wells said in an interaction with reporters at Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.
Last month, the European Parliament had asked New Delhi and Islamabad to engage in direct dialogue on Kashmir and resolve the issue bilaterally to ensure a peaceful resolution.
Following the news of the visit of the EU delegation, Iltija Mufti, the daughter of detained Kashmiri leader Mehbooba Mufti, tweeted: “Hope they get a chance to speak to the people, local media, doctors and civil society members. The iron curtain between Kashmir & the world needs to be lifted and GOI must be held accountable for pushing J&K into turmoil”.