European ambassadors reject India’s invitation of ‘escorted tour’ to held-Kashmir
NEW DELHI: The Ambassadors of the European countries have refused to visit the occupied Kashmir arranged by the Indian government on Thursday for the envoys based in New Delhi.
According to diplomatic sources, the envoys from European countries said they did not want a guided tour of Kashmir, rather they wanted to meet people freely of their own choosing.
Some of the envoys said they were also keen to meet the three former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who had been in detention since the New Delhi government illegally and unconstitutionally changed the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year.
Indian newspaper The Hindu has reported that the EU diplomats have told the Indian government that they wanted to travel in the occupied valley more freely and unescorted. The Indian government has reportedly accepted their demand.
According to the Associated Press, 15 ambassadors of different countries including the United States would embark on a journey to the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir for two days on Jan 9. Representatives of Bangladesh, Vietnam, Norway, the Maldives, South Korea, Morocco and Nigeria will be part of this delegation.
Earlier this week, former Indian home minister and veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram had said that India had lost Kashmir.
In an interview with local media in New Delhi, he had said, “We have practically lost Kashmir as no democratic country can keep an entire population under siege.”
He had said that by carrying out fundamental changes in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has committed ‘constitutional desecration’.
Chidambaram had said the Indian government’s claims about the calm in the Kashmir Valley was nothing but a ‘deceptive calm’.
He had suggested that the first step to resolving the Kashmir issue was to engage the people there in a dialogue and an engagement in a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan.