European delegation that toured Kashmir was on ‘private visit’ to India: Government

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Published: November 20, 2019 3:38:12 PM

"The government of Jammu and Kashmir has reported that a group of 27 members of European Parliament (MEPs), who belonged to different political parties including ruling and opposition parties, paid a private visit to India from October 28, 2019 to November 1, 2019 at the invitation of International Institute for Nonaligned Studies, a Delhi based think tank," Union minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said in a written statement in Rajya Sabha.

“There is no scope for any third party role or mediation,” the minister said. (IE photo)

A group of European parliamentarians who recently visited Kashmir were on a “private visit” to the country, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday. “The government of Jammu and Kashmir has reported that a group of 27 members of European Parliament (MEPs), who belonged to different political parties including ruling and opposition parties, paid a private visit to India from October 28, 2019 to November 1, 2019 at the invitation of International Institute for Nonaligned Studies, a Delhi based think tank,” Union minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said in a written statement in Rajya Sabha.

He was responding to a set of questions that sought to know which institution organised and bore expenses of this Kashmir tour and whether the institution that organised it was working as a coordinating institution of the central government. To another question whether the Union government has “distracted” from its policy of not allowing any external intervention on the Jammu-Kashmir issue, Reddy stated that India’s consistent position has been that issues, if any, with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.

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“There is no scope for any third party role or mediation,” the minister said. In the first visit by a foreign delegation, a team of 23 MEPs travelled to Kashmir in October on a two-day visit to have a first-hand assessment of the situation after the state’s special status was revoked in August by abrogating Article 370 Of the 27 MPs who came to India, 23 went to Kashmir.

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