The government of India has been trying to portray that there is a situation of normalcy in Kashmir and has tried to cover up many atrocities in the name of protecting national integrity. From almost 3 months long siege and communication lockdown to detention of 144 minors including some 9 years old, the tales of horrific living conditions have reached international stage.
In order to cover up the heinous human rights violations being carried out in the valley, government has not only restricted known media personnel from reporting in the valley but also barred the opposition leaders from visiting Jammu and Kashmir. This has undoubtedly led to a scenario of confusion and speculation because the facts from the ground zero are not being allowed to reach the public.
When China tried to intervene in J&K issue, India hit back saying it is an internal issue and China must respect its sovereignty. When Pakistan expressed disapproval on the decision to revoke Article 370, India retorted again that it is an internal matter of India, and rightly so. But now, Indian government has violated its own principle by inviting a delegation supposedly representing European Union to visit and assess the situation in Kashmir.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma rightly said that there was no need for the government to embarrass the country. By inviting a highly controversial group of European Union MPs, who do not represent the mainstream ideologies and political parties in their own countries, by denying your own parliamentarians privileges and rights, the government has insulted the Parliament of India. BJP must be held accountable for causing this embarrassment to Indian diplomacy.
The National Conference called it a PR stunt and the CPI-M said it is an affront to Parliament and its sovereignty. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit out at BJP’s strange nationalism that allows European MPs to visit and assess the Kashmir issue while Indian MPs are sent back from the airport.
Secondly, the delegation did not comprise of official members of European Parliament, this meeting was arranged by Madi Sharma from an NGO Women’s Economic and Social Think Tank (WESTT) who invited these MPs. Now will the Prime Minister tell us who Madi Sharma is and in what capacity is she fixing an appointment with the Prime Minister for a delegation of EU MPs on a personal visit and why is Government of India facilitating it? Where is the money to finance the entire visit coming from? Why has MEA been completely sidelined? These questions will continue to haunt BJP that has insulted India’s Parliament and democratic spirit.
The tale of embarrassment doesn’t end here. The official twitter handle of European Union explained that this delegation does not represent European Parliament, it said: “To be absolutely clear – the group of far-right MEPs currently visiting #Kashmir are not in any way an “official” delegation. They do not speak for the European Parliament. The shutdown in Kashmir must be ended and constitutional rule of law restored”.
This shows that the government’s foreign policy is not that impactful that it can bring an official EU delegation and it is desperately trying to garner international support for its move in Kashmir. The members of this delegation are cleverly selected who have had a history of far-right and fascist views.
This is inexplicable that when elected leaders of your own country are not allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir, how a delegation supposedly representing European Union can assess an “internal matter” of India. This exposes the double standards of the ruling party BJP and leaves no doubt in showing who the actual anti-national is.