Another batch of foreign envoys to visit J&K this week

Srinagar

A second batch of foreign envoys will be taken to Jammu and Kashmir later this week as part of the government’s efforts to display the measures taken to restore normalcy in the newly created union territory, sources told NDTV. The two-day visit will begin on Wednesday. The 12 envoys who are on the list will visit Budgam, where they will be briefed by the army, NDTV reported.

This is the second time the Centre is facilitating the visit of foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir.

Last month, envoys from 15 nations including the US, went to Jammu and Kashmir for a two-day visit. They were briefed by the army and interacted with a group of political leaders from Kashmir Valley. The foreign ministry had said there would be more such visits as the situation progressively normalises.

Earlier, after the Centre scrapped the special status of the state granted under Article 370 of the constitution and bifurcated it into two union territories, a group of lawmakers from the European Union visited Kashmir Valley in their private capacity.

The EU, however, skipped last month’s trip. Sources told NDTV that the lawmakers were not interested in a “guided tour”. The EU has said it would visit the Valley at a later date.

A series of restrictions were placed on Jammu and Kashmir in August, when the government announced its big move in parliament. The government had said they were preventive measures against any backlash.

Six months on, some of them were still in place, including the ban on cellphone internet that raised concern abroad.

Last week, charges under the tough Public Safety Act were brought against former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who have been under preventive detention since August, reported NDTV.

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