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EU MPs visit to Kashmir 'biggest diplomatic blunder' in India's history: Congress


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Demanding answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Wednesday termed the EU MPs visit to Kashmir the "biggest diplomatic blunder" in India's history and said the government had deliberately internationalised the issue.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP government continues to humiliate India on a global scale by allowing internationalisation of the Kashmir issue in violation of the time-tested policy that it is India's internal matter.
"The truth is that this is the biggest diplomatic blunder in India's history. The Modi government has deliberately internationalised the Kashmir issue, violating our time tested policy of Kashmir being an internal matter' of India," he told reporters.
A delegation of 23 EU MPs on Wednesday ended a two-day visit aimed at a first-hand assessment of the ground situation in Kashmir after the revocation of the state's special status.
"The Modi government has committed grave sacrilege by introducing a third party to assess the ground situation in Kashmir and that also through an unknown think tank. By doing so, the government has caused an affront to India's sovereign right over Jammu and Kashmir," the Congress leader said.
"We call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come forward and answer these issues of challenging India's sovereignty, national security and insult of India's Parliament," Surjewala said.
Over the last three days, he said, India has witnessed "an immature, ill-advised and ill-conceived PR exercise" of the BJP government. He claimed the members of European Parliament were brought to India by a "nondescript" think tank with questionable credentials to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visit Kashmir and hold a press briefing.
Surjewala said India's time tested policy over the last 72 years is that Kashmir is an internal issue.
"...we will accept no interference or third party mediation of any nature from any government or group of people or organisation or any individual. The Modi government has committed the gravest sin of reversing this policy over last three days," he said.
Surjewala added that India's MPs and opposition leaders had been detained and deported from the Srinagar airport when they tried to visit Kashmir.
"On the other hand, the BJP government is rolling out the red carpet for a private visit by EU MPs facilitated by an unknown 'International business broker'," he said.
The Congress chief spokesperson said the Modi government has made a "spectacle" of India's diplomacy by outsourcing diplomacy.
Raising questions on who had organised the visit, Surjewala brought in the name of Madi Sharma and the think tank that according to some reports had organised the visit and promised a meeting with the prime minister.
"Will the prime minister tell as to who is 'Madi Sharma'? What is BJP's connection to 'Women's Economic and Social Think Tank' as also to 'International Institute for Non-aligned Studies'?

"Why and in what capacity is Madi Sharma fixing an appointment with the prime minister for a delegation of EU MPs on a personal visit and why is the government of India facilitating it? Where is the money to finance the entire visit coming from? Why has MEA been completely sidelined?" he asked.
Of the 27 MPs who came to India, 23 went to Kashmir. Several of them belong to right and far right parties and are not part of he mainstream in their own countries.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 4:20 PM IST

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