Kashmir Integral Part Of India: EU

24 November 2009
The Hindustan Times
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: The European Union leaders’ statement on Tuesday that Kashmir is an integral part of India has come as a major diplomatic relief for the country at a time when China and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) raised their pitch over the Kashmir to India’s dislike. Emerging from a meeting with the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik in Srinagar, Sweden’s ambassador Lars Olof Lindgran said: “We consider Kashmir as an integral part of India.” Lindgran is heading an EU team delegation - including European Commission ambassador Daniel Smadga, ambassador of Spain, Londola Riva, ambassador of Belgium, Gean M Deboutte and second secretary (political) Embassy of Sweden, Oscar Schlythe – visiting Jammu and Kashmir to compile a report. “We are here to understand the situation and have a feel of it. We want to know how peace process is moving ahead,” he said. “This is a routine visit. We want to observe human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.” He, however, added that the EU was for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem. Earlier in the day, the delegation called on senior army officers at 15-Corps headquarter at Badami Bagh. “Human rights situation in Kashmir wasn’t good. But there is an improvement now.” The delegation also met moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwiaz Umar Farooq. Tomorrow, the delegation is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The delegation will submit a detailed report after its J&K visit to the European Union on the situation in Kashmir.