Tomas Zdechovsky says he was not part of the delegation that went to Kashmir.



New Delhi: Czech Republic’s Tomas Zdechovsky, one of the members of European Parliament (MEP) who was supposed to be a part of the MEP delegation that went to Kashmir, told The Sunday Guardian that he was not a part of the delegation and he was in India during the same time for a totally different reason.

Interacting with The Sunday Guardian, Zdechovsky, who is MEP from the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), said that he did not go to Kashmir and participated in different programmes and meetings which included a meeting and gifting his book to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I personally wasn’t in Kashmir. Yesterday, I had some private programme and meetings. I was not a part of the delegation that went to Kashmir. I have very good contact with your political representative for five years. The first invitation I have received to come to India was in September 2014,” he said.

According to him, he had no prior information about who the other MEPs were who would be in India during the same time he was going to be in India. “I didn’t have any information on who will come and who won’t. I had a specific programme,” he said.

He said that he was “fully transparent” when it came to such visits and he was going to declare everything on his website soon. “My wife and I have been supporting charity projects in the education sector in India for the last 20 years and during my visits, I wanted to meet people who coordinate such efforts. I am fully transparent. Part of this visit was paid privately and part from the Institute (International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies).

The government-sponsored lunch and dinner is a normal practice. I had my specific agenda and meetings. My interest was concerned to others issues like innovation, education and the fight against poverty,” he added.

“I came to meet your Prime Minister, Vice President and foreign ministry officials because I love your country and I respect your history and values. I don’t want to be part of any political fight against your government. The EU has excellent cooperation with India. If I knew that somebody will use my visit negatively, I would never have come,” he said.

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