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15 Envoys in J&K to assess ground situation

The government has said that the objective of taking envoys of 15 countries to Kashmir was to help them see the efforts to bring back normalcy in the Valley after abrogation of Article 370. It rejected criticism that the visit is like a guided tour. In J&K for 2 days, the envoys are holding meetings with security officials & civil society.

After the abrogation of article 370 in J&K, situation continues to be getting normal. Some countries expressed the desire to get a first hand look at the ground situation in Kashmir. Following this, envoys from 15 nations — including the US — are in Jammu and Kashmir for a two-day visit.

The Delhi-based envoys, who came on a special chartered flight landed at Srinagar’s technical airport and were taken directly to the army cantonment for a briefing.Besides US, the team comprises envoys from South Korea, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Guyana, Argentina, Norway, Philippines, Maldives, Togo, Fiji, Peru, Bangladesh and Vietnam..

The first meeting of the envoys was with security officials to get a sense of security situation in J&K and also threat posed by terrorism in maintaining peace.

The group of envoys was taken around Srinagar and met political leaders. The interaction was an extensive one. They also met panchayat members and representatives of local bodies and NGOs as well as civil society groups.

The envoys also interacted with the local media. Before returning to Delhi, the envoys will hold talks in Jammu on Friday.

Meanwhile, political activity is also picking up in the state. PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig interacted with the media and alleged that her provocative statements resulted in the downgrading of J-K state into UTs.

In another development, PDP on Thursday expelled eight party leaders who were part of the delegation that met the envoys on Thursday.Earlier in the week they had met Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu. The party claims they have gone against the will of the people” by engaging in parleys with the government.

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