Strange decision

The decision of the BJP government at the Centre to allow a group of European members of parliament (MP) to visit Jammu & Kashmir is strange, considering the fact that the union government did not allow its own MPs to visit the state. The lawmakers, mostly from far-right parties that share similar ideologies with the BJP, are currently in the union territory (UT). This is the first such international visit since the government ended the special status of Jammu & Kashmir and split it into two UTs in August. The opposition parties have raised questions over allowing foreign lawmakers to visit the UT when Indian political leaders had been either barred or turned away from the airport.
The abrogation of Article 370 has caused massive unrest in Jammu & Kashmir. Even as the EU team is visiting, there is a virtual crackdown in the valley. It is difficult to know what the aim is behind allowing this visit. The visit is a farce, considering the fact that it is state-sponsored. The members will not interact with civil society groups or with political leaders. Instead of organizing such a farcical tour, the government of India should start the process to bring back normalcy in the state. The people of Kashmir are in complete lockdown for the last two months and the situation is getting extremely tense. The government should release all the political prisoners, and restore internet and mobile services. Let the people express their opinions. The more the government tries to suppress them, the more they will rebel. India is a democratic country and the Kashmiris are part of this democracy. Also, it’s time the MPs from the opposition parties are allowed to visit the valley. The lockdown of Kashmir is only creating more trouble for the nation.