The National Conference(NC) on Tuesday termed the visit of a delegation of European Union (EU) parliamentarians as a 'public relations exercise' and said such steps were not the answer to the 'unprecedented situation' in the region.
In a statement, the region’s oldest political party said the visit of foreign politicians 'largely of a particular ideology' was “ironical'. '(It is) clearly a public relation exercise ... it is ironical that these EU law makers are visiting the Valley when the state’s leaders, including the former Chief Ministers, have been incarcerated for nearly three months now and hundreds of others are in jail across the country,' the party said in its statement.
The delegation of EU parliamentarians arrived in Srinagar in a first such visit by a group of foreign politicians since the August 5 abrogation of Article 370. The National Conference said the people had responded to their visit by intensifying the shutdown, a reference to the protests, closure of early morning markets and also slowdown in the volume of private traffic across the Kashmir Valley today.
'What the people of Kashmir think of the MPs’ visit is very clear from an intensified shutdown in the Valley today,' it said. The party said it would like to underline that 'the PR stunts are not an answer to the unprecedented situation prevailing since August 5', when Article 370 was abrogated and the state was placed under travel and communication restrictions.
'The Centre should instead take concrete steps to heal the wounds of the people,' it said. 'It is possible only when those who have been incarcerated are released, democracy restored and the dialogue process initiated with all stakeholders of Jammu and Kashmir,' the National Conference said.