NEW DELHI: A 28-member delegation on Monday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The delegation will undertake a visit to the newly-formed Union Territory on Tuesday to take stock of the ground situation prevailing in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370 which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
On Monday, the NSA briefed them on the developments in Kashmir and prevailing terror threat across the country. "Members of European Parliament called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg today. Prime Minister appreciated the importance the Parliamentarians attach to their relationship with India by visiting right at the beginning of their term," a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said.
PM Modi expressed the hope that they have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including to Jammu and Kashmir. "Their visit to Jammu and Kashmir should give the delegation a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the region of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh; apart from giving them a clear view of the development and governance priorities of the region, " PM Modi said.
The visit will be the first-ever international visit to the union territory after the revocation of Article 370. The EU parliamentarians' visit to the UT comes at a time when the Centre is making efforts to restore normalcy in the erstwhile state. Earlier in October, the authorities restored postpaid mobile services and also allowed tourists to visit the Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir was put under a strict communication blockade to prevent violent protests from breaking out in the wake of against the abrogation of Article 370.
Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti, who had been put under house arrest ahead of the scrapping of Article 370, hoped that the delegation would speak with the locals. “The iron curtain between Kashmir and the world needs to be lifted and GOI must be held accountable for pushing J&K into turmoil,” she tweeted.