New Delhi, January 09 (KMS): The European Union refused to take part in a rare diplomatic visit to occupied Kashmir starting Thursday because it will not be allowed to meet detained local politicians, reports said.

The NDTV news channel quoted one European diplomatic source said, “EU envoys don’t want a guided tour of Kashmir. We want to meet people freely of our own choosing.”

Foreign journalists have also not been allowed into the area since August, when Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its special status by New Delhi.

In October, around 30 European lawmakers – many from far-right parties – visited but without the official blessing of the EU and the Indian government insisted it was a “private” initiative.

Critics said that visit was a government’s attempt to give the impression that life has returned to normal.

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