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Foreign envoys begin a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the situation | India News

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SRINAGAR: A group of envoys, including those from several European Union countries and some OIC member states, began a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. They are in Kashmir to see first-hand the situation in the newly sculpted Union territory, especially after the recently concluded local body elections.
The envoys representing four Organization of Islamic Countries (OCI) – Malaysia, Bangladesh, Senegal and Tajikistan – were brought to Magam in central Kashmir amid heightened security arrangements in the city and elsewhere in the Valley, they said. The authorities.
Other envoys included in this delegation were from Brazil, Italy, Finland, Cuba, Chile, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Kyrgyzstan, Ireland, Ghana, Estonia, Bolivia, Malawi, Eritrea, and the Ivory Coast.
This is the third delegation to arrive in Jammu and Kashmir since the government repealed the former state’s special status on August 5, 2019, and forked it into two Union territories by dividing Ladakh.
In Magam, the envoys went to a school and were received in a traditional way and after the usual rituals by the administration, they interacted with the locals.
It was a fluid exchange of ideas between the delegation and the locals, officials said.
DDC Chairman Budgam Nazir Ahmad, who interacted with the envoys, told reporters that he raised the need for the government to provide basic services such as food, clothing, shelter, electricity and good roads.
“Budgam is an oppressed district in need of development. Our discussion focused on it,” Ahmad added.
Later, the delegation was transferred to a hotel located on the banks of the famous Dal Lake where they interacted with the mayor of Srinagar, presidents of District Development Councils, Block Development Councils and newly formed Municipal Councils of all parties.
The delegation was informed of the government’s initiative to guarantee democracy at the grassroots level and the strengthening of the panchayats in the territory of the Union of Jammu and Kashmir, granting them financial powers.
Significant about the delegation was the inclusion of the OIC member states so that they could easily counter the Pakistani propaganda that has been creating a false narrative about the situation on the Union territory, the officials said.
The report of the Secretary General of the OIC on its activities presented to the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers referred to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and said: “The decision of the Government of India on August 5, 2019 of changing the demographic and geographic situation, the composition of the territory, and the ongoing blockade and restrictions, together with human rights abuses, have sparked renewed efforts by the international community towards a solution to the conflict. ”
However, India, without naming Pakistan, had said it was “regrettable that the OIC continues to allow a certain country, which has an abominable record of religious tolerance, radicalism and persecution of minorities, to indulge in anti-India acts.” . propaganda.”
It can be mentioned here that internet restrictions were lifted earlier this month and speed was improved from existing 2G to 4G.
During their stay in the Valley, members of the delegation will visit the revered Hazratbal sanctuary on the shores of Dal Lake in addition to meeting the artisans.
The delegation is scheduled to visit Jammu on Thursday, where they are likely to meet Union Territory officials and visit Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
In a related development, parts of Srinagar observed a shutdown to mark the arrival of the delegation of envoys to Jammu and Kashmir. Stores in Lal Chowk and surrounding areas of the city remained closed while authorities deployed additional security personnel to ensure that the envoys’ visit runs smoothly.
However, traffic was normal on the roads.
The leader of Congress, Saifuddin Soz, said that the visit of the envoys takes place almost every year and is a futile exercise, as the government does not benefit from it.
“The envoys come here and enjoy the courtesies of the government and come back. Only some of them read the truth behind this exercise. The government of India has advantage of this exercise, it is a useless exercise. It would be better if the government opens a dialogue with the main parties in Kashmir, “Soz said.
The Hurriyat conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the envoys’ visit was a curated tour to fool the world.
“A curated tour of foreign dignitaries to show the ‘normality’ in the valley to the outside world is misleading. The spontaneous strike of the people, the only means of protest they have left, tells the world a lot about what the people feel and want. “says Amalgam said in a statement.
Last year, envoys from 17 nations, including the United States, visited Jammu and Kashmir and the team was also comprised of ambassadors from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, the Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh and Peru.
Immediately three months after the Center withdrew Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided it into two Union territories, a delegation of 23 EU parliamentarians was taken on a two-day visit to assess the situation in the territory of the Union by the International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies, a Delhi-based think tank.

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