On Tuesday morning, a bus carrying 28 European Members of Parliament (MEPs) left for the Delhi airport to depart for Srinagar. As per the sources, they are likely to board an Air India flight at 10.15 am and will reach Srinagar at around 11.15 am. This will mark the start of their two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It will be the first-ever international delegation to visit the state since the revocation of special status on August 5. The visit of the MEPs also indicates a change in the stance of the Centre, which had earlier declined permission to other legislators to visit J&K.
Sources reveal that the 28-member European Union (EU) delegation is likely to meet the administrative officials, locals, civil society as well as members of the security apparatus. Furthermore, they will call on the Governor of the state. A visit to the Dal lake and other neighbouring areas is also on the agenda. According to the sources, the delegation will have an overnight stay in Srinagar.
The unofficial EU delegation arrived in India on Monday. This includes MEPs from Italy, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Poland and Slovakia. Initially, they met the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who briefed them about the menace of Pakistan-sponsored terror and the country’s malicious attempt to spread propaganda about J&K in EU countries. Later, they met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his 7 Lok Kalyan Marg residence in the national capital. The PM not only discussed the strengthening of the relationship between India and the EU but also talked about their impending visit to J&K. Furthermore, he called for action to be taken against sponsors of terrorism.