Days after the government restored 4G internet connectivity to Jammu and Kashmir, it is preparing to take a group of diplomats to visit Srinagar and Jammu in an effort to “showcase” the situation in the Union Territory, The Hindu newspaper quoting unnamed officials reported..
Quoting sources, the newspaper reported that the visit being planned in the next few weeks will include about 20 envoys and diplomats from different countries, including the European Union, who have been invited by the Ministry of External Affairs.
The visit will be the third official one by foreign diplomats to Jammu and Kashmir since the government’s decision to amend Article 370 and divide the State into two Union Territories (Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh) on 5 August 2019. A delegation of Members of the European Parliament had also visited the UT in October 2019, but the visit had run into controversies over its sponsorship and had been described by the government as a “personal” visit.
During the two-day visit which is still in the planning stages, sources said that the foreign delegation was expected to meet government officials, newly-elected local District Development Council (DDC) representatives, business chambers and members of civil society.
An official said that the Jammu Kashmir Administration would also make a presentation on the recently held District Development Council (DDC) polls as a “major opening of political space” in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the restoration of high-speed internet, which was welcomed by the new U.S. Biden administration.
It is still unclear whether the group would meet former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah. Previous delegations were able to meet only members of the J-K Apni Party, as most of the other political leadership, including all former Chief Ministers, were in detention at the time.