Sat, 19 Oct 2019

Geneva [Switzerland], Sept 22 (ANI): Several members of the European Parliament and Indian Islamic clerics on Sunday backed India's move to scrap Article 370, saying that it will bring more prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh while slamming Pakistan's desperate bid to internationalise India's "internal matter".

The European Parliament MPs and clerics were speaking at a joint press conference at Geneva Press Club on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of special status to it.

Calling the scrapping of Article 370 "a fully internal matter of India", European Parliament member (MEP) Thierry Mariani supported India on the matter and rejected Pakistan's attempt to internationalise the issue.

"This is not an international event. It is just a change of status. Kashmir belongs to India. If India decides to change the status of Kashmir, it is India's internal matter. The status change will just benefit J-K," he told ANI here.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's appeals to the international community to intervene on the issue, Mariani said Europe should not get involved in a "country's internal matter".

"It's a question of a country and we do not have to get involved in the decision of a country. Pakistan can try it but I must say that the EU must vote (against it)," he said when his opinion was sought on Khan's statements.

Former EU member Charles Tannock, MEPs Fulvio Martusciella and Guiseppe Ferrandino and former member of Canadian Parliament Mario Silva were also present at the press conference.

Maintaining that J-K is an integral part of India, Maulana Mahmood Madani, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind general secretary, rejected the Pakistan Prime Minister's attempts to internationalise the issue and asked the neighbouring country to work for the welfare of Pakistanis.

"J-K is an integral part of India. We do not accept any interference by Pakistan and other nations in Kashmir. We cannot compromise with India's integrity and we reject Pakistan's narrative," he said.

Later speaking to ANI, Madani said, "Pakistan has been spreading the mess across South Asia in the name of Islam. Now it is trying to push its agenda (on India's move on J-K) across the world in the name of Indian Muslims. We are capable of countering this agenda."He said Imran Khan has lost all hopes and is making random statements. "We should not react to his statements," he said on Khan's threat of a war against India.

Syed Salman Chishty, the custodian of Dargah Ajmer Sharif, also rejected Pakistan's propaganda on Jammu and Kashmir, terming it a "failed attempt". "This is a failed attempt. People who know the truth will not pay heed to their propaganda," he told ANI.

Earlier today, MEP Herve Juvin also extended his support to India on abrogation of Article 370 and maintained that it is India's internal matter.

"For us, the Kashmir issue is an internal matter of India. We don't want to get into the internal affairs of India. We were cautious about any action to internationalise the issue of Kashmir," Juvin said.

Pakistan, which has been making a hue and cry over India's decision, has found itself isolated on the Kashmir issue after being snubbed at the United Nations as well as by the countries like the United States, France, and Russia. India has maintained that the move on Kashmir is its "internal matter" - a stance that has been backed by a majority of SAARC countries as well.

During a debate on the 'Situation in Kashmir' in European Parliament earlier this week, several Ministers of European Parliament had accused Pakistan of providing "sanctuary" to terrorists and promoting terrorism across the LoC.

The MEPs had termed the revocation of Article 370 an internal matter of New Delhi and urged the European Union to respect the "sovereignty of India". (ANI)

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