Second batch of foreign envoys including EU representatives to visit J-K today

A fresh batch of 25 foreign diplomats, including those from Germany, Canada, France and Afghanistan, will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday to witness the ground situation in the region nearly six months after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Consitution.

This is the second batch of foreign diplomats that will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir in the last one month.

According to local media reports, the delegation will be meeting fruit growers in North Kashmir before reaching Srinagar where they are scheduled to meet media representatives, civil society groups and politicians of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian Army will also brief the visiting diplomats on the security situation in Kashmir and are expected to give a detailed presentation on Pakistan’s involvement in fomenting and sponsoring terrorism in the newly-formed Union Territory.

According to reports, the envoys will have a night halt in Srinagar before moving to Jammu next day where they are expected to meet Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu and civil society groups.

The fresh batch of diplomats also includes EU representatives from Poland, Bulgaria and Czech Republic, and their participation assumes significance as the EU Parliament recently initiated to bring a joint draft resolution on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Kashmir, the vote on which was later deferred.

Also, the India-EU summit is also slated to take place in Brussels next month where External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be participating.

Last month, envoys of 15 countries including US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and diplomats from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh and Peru visited Jammu and Kashmir on January 9 and 10 to see first-hand efforts being made by the government in the region.

ANI spoke to some of the envoys who visited Kashmir last month. The diplomats had expressed satisfaction and hoped for the return of normalcy in the region soon.

Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau had said he witnessed “normalcy in the daily lives of the people” during his trip to Jammu and Kashmir.

“I want to say that it was a very worthwhile trip. Seeing is believing. That has us to have a fuller picture of the situation here,” Chau had told ANI.

“My observation is that we see normalcy in the daily life of the people, which is a very positive sign,” the envoy had said, adding that his interactions with different groups in the region had him felt that they are “very happy with the current situation.