Madi Sharma, the woman who facilitated Kashmir foreign delegation's visit also organised controversial trip of MEPs to Maldives

Madi Sharma, who finds herself in the eye of the storm surrounding the controversy over a group of European parliamentarians visit to Srinagar, has been linked to a similar episode in the Maldives back in 2018.

FP Staff October 30, 2019 14:15:22 IST
Madi Sharma, the woman who facilitated Kashmir foreign delegation's visit also organised controversial trip of MEPs to Maldives
  • Madi Sharma, who finds herself in the eye of the storm surrounding the controversy over a group of European parliamentarians visit to Srinagar, has been linked to a similar episode in the Maldives back in 2018

  • Sharma was reportedly the person who had invited several Members of European Parliament to visit Kashmir on an all-expense-paid 'unofficial visit', a first for India when it comes to Kashmir.

  • Sharma apparently promised a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a visit to Kashmir in her email invitation made public by NDTV

Madi Sharma, who finds herself in the eye of the storm surrounding the controversy over a group of European parliamentarians visit to Srinagar, has been linked to a similar episode in the Maldives back in 2018.

Sharma was reportedly the person who had invited several Members of European Parliament to visit Kashmir on an all-expense-paid 'unofficial visit', a first for India when it comes to Kashmir. Sharma apparently promised a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a visit to Kashmir in her email invitation made public by NDTV.

It has now come to light that Sharma facilitated a similar private visit of MEPs to Maldives a year ago, at a time when the country was undergoing presidential elections. The trip became controversial after Maldives complaint to the European Union about the visit, saying that the MEPs were presenting themselves as if on an EU-authorised official tour to "observe the elections". The Maldivian Ambassador to the European Union, Ahmed Shiaan, wrote to European Parliament president Antonio Tajani to express his dismay over the three MEPs "utter and complete disregard for rules".

However, the delegation consisting MEPs Maria Gabriela Zoană (of the Socialists and Democrats, from Romania), Tomáš Zdechovský (EPP, Czech Republic) and Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR, from Poland’s ruling PiS party) insisted that they never publicly stated that they were on an official visit.Zdechovský, one of the MEPs who visited Maldives, said he went in his private capacity on his personal and not his diplomatic passport "to see how the situation is really looking."

He added that the visit was "private and even secret, it was about meeting the opposition. It was absolutely not official." Politico quoted him as saying that he paid for the trip himself, and was "very surprised" when Sharma "started to present us as an official delegation."Sharma had accompanied the panel to Male along with one Henri Malosse, the former president of the European Economic and Social Committee.

Here is the full text of Male's letter to EU criticising the MEPs for their alleged transgression of its laws.

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