Mir stated that “we are growing and we are coming together and standing up despite the threat of terror from across the border. What we seek is support from the world in our journey to stability. Our only enemy is terrorism and the world must not forget that terrorism anywhere is a threat to the whole humanity…”
Two Kashmiri political activists on October 24 briefed members of the European Union Parliament about the political and social developments in the union territory. This is first such briefings since the revocation of Article 370 that accorded special status o Kashmir in 2019. The Kashmiri politicians–Chairman District Development Council Baramulla, Safina Baig and President of Jammu Kashmir Workers Party, Mir Junaid briefed 12 EU Parliamentarians. The EU Parliamentarians included MEPs Annalisa Tardino, Isabella Adinolfi, Luisa Regimenti, Camilla Laureti along with other MEPs.
Baig pointed out that “Jammu and Kashmir has seen the mobilization of a new political force through the emergence of a three-tiered system of local governance.” In order to highlight India’s initiatives on the global platform, she called for regular interactions between parliamentarians from European Union and India. Joining the conference via Zoom, Mr. Mir stated that “we are growing and we are coming together and standing up despite the threat of terror from across the border. What we seek is support from the world in our journey to stability. Our only enemy is terrorism and the world must not forget that terrorism anywhere is a threat to the whole humanity…”
They also highlighted the ongoing reforms in local governance and the importance of grassroots representation and its role in strengthening local democracy in Kashmir. Despite witnessing three decades of cross-border militancy, the government with the support of civil society has not only been successful in reducing the violence but has introduced accountable and transparent governance in a short span of time. The effectiveness of these measures also attests to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people at large who have welcomed these initiatives. The new initiatives reflect almost every aspect of governance, from introducing Kisan (Farmer) Credit Cards, Health Insurance, Housing Schemes, Pension Schemes and many other initiatives.
Both Ms. Baig and Mr. Mir emphasised the role of these initiatives as a bridge between the government and the disenchanted population in the region. For any governance initiative to succeed, the participation of the common people becomes crucial. The people of Kashmir have played a crucial role in ensuring the success of these measures, as active voters and providing constructive feedback in planning and executing governance initiatives.
The Parliamentarians also had an interaction with the Vice President of the EU Parliament and the member of Women’s Rights Committee Mrs Pina Picierno. Ms Baig discussed various initiatives taken by her to meet aspirations of Women in Kashmir.Acknowledging the positive developments in Kashmir, the MEPs appreciated the efforts by Ms. Baig and Mr. Mir and showed their commitment towards supporting women’s rights and youth leadership in Kashmir.