Nicolaus Fest is a member of the 23-member EU parliamentarians delegation that is visiting India. The delegation was allowed to visit Kashmir by the government to take first-hand stock of the situation after the abrogation of Article 370.
A parliamentarian part of the European Union delegation of MPs on Wednesday came out in support of the Indian opposition parties who have been critical of the Modi government for not allowing them to visit Kashmir to assess the ground situation. Nicolaus Fest, who hails from Germany, stated that the demands of leaders of opposition parties are genuine and they should be allowed to enter the Valley.
“I think if you let in European Union parliamentarians, you should also let in opposition politicians from India. So there is some kind of disbalance, the government should somehow address it,” Fest, who is a member of Alternative for Germany political party, told news agency ANI.
Fest is a member of the 23-member EU parliamentarians delegation that is visiting India. The delegation was allowed to visit Kashmir by the government to take first-hand stock of the situation after the abrogation of Article 370. This was the first foreign delegation to visit the border state after the August 5 decision of the Modi government.
The visit, however, was mired in controversy after Opposition leaders questioned the BJP for making arrangements for the EU members’ visit to Kashmir and barring its own elected representatives from entering the state. Reports also suggested that the MPs were visiting Kashmir in personal capacity and not as part of an official EU delegation.
The Modi government had on August 5 ended the state’s special status, which was criticised by the Congress and a few other opposition parties. Since then, the government has placed former CMs Omar Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and other politicians under detention. The opposition leaders were not allowed to enter the state and were repatriated from Srinagar. A few opposition leaders, however, managed to visit Jammu and Kashmir after obtaining permission from the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the EU members said that they do not want to interfere into internal matters of India. They said the terror was a universal problem and they support India in its efforts to eliminate it.