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September 28, 2020

Fresh batch of foreign envoys to visit J-K this week

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A fresh batch of foreign envoys including many from the European Union will visit Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday to get first-hand information about the ground situation after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, officials said on Monday.

IMAGE: Envoys of 15 countries including the United States visited the Kashmir valley in January. Photograph: NI Photo

The envoys will be in Srinagar on a two-day visit during which they would interact with civil society, security officials and politicians, who were not detained by the administration in August last year.

The delegation will comprise envoys mainly from the European Union as well as from Gulf countries.


The visit comes ahead of a possible voting by the European Union (EU) Parliament on a debate held last month on Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

At that time, the voting was deferred and it may now take place during the next plenary session of the EU Parliament to be held from March 31.

The EU envoys had refused to take part in an earlier visit of diplomats, saying they needed some time to discuss among themselves. The envoys had also said they would visit Kashmir together.

The central government had on August 5, 2019 abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Earlier, a delegation of 23 EU MPs had visited Kashmir to access the ground situation in the Union territory.

The International Institute for Nonaligned Studies, a Delhi-based think tank, which had organised the visit then faced criticism for choosing people with certain ideological bent for the visit.

Owing to the controversy, the state government had distanced itself from the visit and Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy informed the parliament that the European parliamentarians were on a ‘private visit’.

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