Pakistan desperate, people of Kashmir won’t give an inch, foreign envoys told
New Delhi, Jan 09: US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster along with envoys from 15 other countries visited Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, the first visit by diplomats since the abrogation of the erstwhile state's special status in August last year.
However, countries from the European Union were not part of the foreign delegates' team.
Envoys from US, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Maldives, Morocco, Fiji, Norway, Philippines, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, & Guyana are undertaking the visit to the Valley.
"Their first meeting was with security officials to get a sense of security situation in J&K, and also threat posed by terrorism in maintaining peace. Objective of the visit was for the envoys to see first hand the efforts which have been made by government to normalise situation," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
The local representatives rainsed concern over Pakistan propoganga and said the people of Kashmir would not give an inch to Pakistan, the people added.
The Delhi-based envoys arrived here by a special chartered flight at Srinagar's technical airport where top officials from the newly carved out union territory received them.
The European envoys have conveyed to the Centre that they will visit the UT on a separate date and insisted on meeting the top leaders including former Chief Ministers, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti.
Quoting government sources, IANS stated that some EU Ambassadors didn't want to be part of the group of envoys visiting Kashmir as they felt "certain restrictions in the programme were unfounded and mischievous".
Earlier it was reported that certain European envoys were not keen on a "guided tour" of the region and rather wanted to meet the people and interact with them.
It may be recalled that in October 2019, the government had facilitated the Madi Group, an NGO, which escorted 23 members of the European Parliament to Kashmir. They met with locals and got some classified security briefings during their visit.
On August 5, 2019, the government abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The Article granted special status to J&K and as a result of its abrogation, common laws of the land now apply to the newly formed Union Territory.