New Delhi: After a controversy over the visit of several European Union MPs to New Delhi and then to J&K earlier this week, the ministry of external affairs indicated it had “facilitated” the visit, adding that engagement with the international community does not amount to internationalisation of the Kashmir issue.
At his weekly briefing on Thursday, MEA spokes-person Raveesh Kumar said that the MEPs had been to India on a private visit and that they had “expressed a desire to know about India”, adding that they were “directly elected” representatives.
He said that the government “would look at such requests” in future too and that “intent, content and the ground situation” would be “deciding factors”.
Mr Kumar further said the issue was whether any such action promotes India’s “objectives and interests” and whether “sharing of perspective” serves the “national interest”.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that after the visit, the role of Pakistan in cross-border terrorism has got international attention.
“Our (MEA’s) job is to facilitate ... This is part of our mandate ... We are supposed to share our perspective,” the spokesperson said, adding that part of the MEA’s mandate involved engaging with a range of people (from abroad) including MPs, civil society, businessmen and media.
He said that even earlier, the MEA had facilitated visits that were not organised through official channels.
He added that all foreign visitors “don’t have to come through official channels”.
A controversy had erupted recently after it was revealed that the invitation to the MEPs had been issued by an NGO which had also claimed that Modi was keen to interact with decision-makers in Europe.
The MEA spokesperson pointed out that promoting the Indian perspective does not mean internationalisation of the Kashmir issue. “Engagement with the international community is not internationalisation,” the MEA spokesperson said....