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German envoy calls MEPs' visit to J-K 'totally private'


ANI Asia
German Ambassador to India Walter L Linder on Wednesday said that a delegation of European Union parliamentarians are visiting Jammu and Kashmir in a personal capacity and it is a private visit.
The delegation of MEPs including Germany's Bernhard Zimniok, Lars Patrick Berg and Nicolaus Fest on Tuesday visited Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation in the region following the Centre's decision to strip the region of its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5.
Speaking to ANI regarding the MEPs' visit, Linder said, "I have read it already in the newspapers about the visit and I have read our statements from the European Union side, which said this is a totally private visit and I leave it at that."
The MEPs visit to Kashmir, which is witnessing shutdown from over two months, has been mired in controversy. The opposition questioned the government over allowing parliamentarians but not the country's opposition leaders to the regions.
This is the first time that the government has allowed a foreign delegation to visit Jammu and Kashmir post-abrogation of Article 370.
The delegation comprised Poland's Joana Kopcinska, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Ryszard Czarnecki, Kosma Zlotowski, Bogdan Rzonca, Elzbieta Rafalska; Italy's Silvia Sardone, Gianna Gancia, Fulvio Martusciello, Guiseppe Ferrandino; France's France Jamet, Nicholas Bay, Virginie Joron, Julie Lechanteux, Maxette Pirbakas, and Thierry Mariani.
The other members included Germany's Bernhard Zimniok, Lars Patrick Berg; Spain's Hermann Tertsch, Belgium's Tom Vandendriessche; UK's David Richard Bull, Bill Newton Dunn, Alexandra Phillips, James Wells, Nathan Gill; Czech Republic's Tomas Zdechobsky, and Slovakia's Peter Pollak.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 2:30 PM IST

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