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India to organize another visit of foreign envoys to J&K | India News


NEW DELHI: The government is likely to organize another visit by foreign ambassadors to Jammu and Kashmir this month, ToI learned. Although the modalities are still being worked out, it is known that the group will be made up of ambassadors from European and Gulf countries.
The proposed visit follows India’s Feb.5 move to restore 4G mobile internet services in the union territory (UT) exactly 18 months after India amended section 370 to revoke the former state’s special status.
India’s decision to restore Internet services was welcomed by the United States as an important step for local residents. While maintaining that there are no changes in US policy in South Asia, the Biden administration has said it expects “continued political and economic progress” to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.
The group of foreign envoys is also expected to interact with some of the newly elected District Development Council (DDC) members, and the government seeks to highlight participation in the inaugural DDC elections as a sign of the faith of the local population. in “grassroots democracy”. and his rejection of any interference by external forces in, as the government says, the internal affairs of India.
The security agencies are also expected to inform envoys about the threat of cross-border terrorism which, as the Indian authorities continue to maintain, is facilitated by Pakistan. The visit will also come at a time when Pakistan is said to be making new peace proposals, beginning with Army Chief Qamar Bajwa’s comment that Pakistan wants to extend the hand of peace in all directions. However, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has also said that India must first restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The ambassadors, who will probably visit both Srinagar and Jammu, will form the third delegation of its kind to visit the Valley since August 5, 2019, when the state forked into the separate UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
A group of 27 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) visited Kashmir in October 2019, at the invitation of a Delhi-based think tank, after they apparently expressed their desire to visit Kashmir to understand how terrorism was affecting India. Government authorities organized a similar visit for the Delhi-based foreign envoys early next year.
Nor does the government clearly believe that such visits by foreign dignitaries could lead to the internationalization of the Kashmir issue. As the government previously stated, while defending the MEPs visit, it believes such exchanges are consistent with India’s foreign policy goals of promoting deeper contact between people and ultimately helping to promote the relationship. broader than India pursues with other countries.

Times of India