Six months after Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked by diluting Article 370 of the Constitution, the second batch of foreign envoys arrived in Srinagar Wednesday for a first-hand assessment of the situation in the Union Territory.
The envoys of over 20 countries arrived at the Srinagar airport at around 11 am for a two-day visit. Earlier today, the envoys, who are staying at a hotel along the Boulevard Road, went for a Shikara ride on the famous Dal Lake after their visit to Baramulla town in north Kashmir got canceled due to inclement weather.
Taking to Twitter, Afghanistan’s envoy to India Tahir Qadri said, “Upon our arrival, we enjoyed a #Shikara ride on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir. Beautiful lake and hospitable people. I bought a beautiful Kashmiri ring from a boat serving as a shop.”
Reacting to the visit of envoys, Iltija Mufti, the daughter of incarcerated PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, said she hoped that the ambassadors will question the authorities about the internet ban and detention of political leaders under the Public Safety Act.
Hope you & @EU_in_India question GOI about
•Internet ban since 5th August & economic losses suffered
•GOI muzzling local media in Kashmir
•release of detainees inc 3 ex CMs slapped with draconian PSA
•troop deployment to create fear amongst people
Normalcy’s an illusion https://t.co/Jn7lPCdFtj
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 12, 2020
This is the second group of envoys to visit the newly-created Union Territory following the abrogation of article 370 provisions on August 5 last year. Last month, the government had arranged a trip for 15 foreign diplomats, including the US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, to J&K.
The current visit comes after the EU Parliament last month deferred a vote on a joint draft resolution on Kashmir and CAA that India called a “diplomatic victory”. The voting is likely to take place in the next plenary sitting of the European Parliament in March-April.
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