NEW DELHI: India on Thursday termed “necessary” the recent Jammu and Kashmir trip of a delegation of members of the European Parliament, saying the move was required to counter Pakistan’s influence in Europe.
Dismissing criticism of the decision to allow the delegation to visit J&K, a senior government functionary said on Thursday, “The reason why the EU panel was allowed was because Pakistan support groups are very active in Europe and were creating an anti-India mood.”
Speaking in favour the controversial trip, the top official said, “The way in which Pakistan has been going on and on, some measures were required to counter them.” A 23-member delegation of EU parliamentarians reached Kashmir on Tuesday for a first-hand assessment of the situation after the state’s special status was revoked in August.
Meanwhile, the MEA said the visit by EU MPs to Kashmir was not at all internationalisation of the issue and such delegations do not necessarily have to come through official channels. “There is a clear distinction between internationalising the issue and international engagement. Engagement with the diplomatic community is not internationalising the issue. We are supposed to share our perspective with a different group of people. We feel that this is in the larger interest...” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
The functionary said that the government is not perturbed by the opposition’s criticism that it had stopped elected Indian MPs from visiting the Valley. “Whatever they are saying is being used by Pakistan to criticise India. We cannot allow them to practise politics on this issue,” the official said.