A batch of 25 foreign envoys from the European Union and Gulf countries on Thursday reached Jammu and Kashmir to assess the situation in the Union Territory. This is third batch of envoy to visit Jammu and Kashmir to have a first-hand assessment of the situation ever since the abrogation of Article 370.
After reaching, the envoys met the Justice Gita Mittal, Chief Justice of J&K High Court. They are also supposed to meet the Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu.
The envoys also met army officials who briefed them about the security situation.
This second batch of envoys are from Germany, Canada, France, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, Afghanistan, Austria, Uzbekistan, Poland, along with envoys of the European Union.
Official sources have said that the foreign envoys will be meeting a host of delegations engaged in various activities in the Union Territory. It is said that the envoys will meet delegations of traders, political leaders, social activists, members of the civil society and religious leaders as well.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the Centre of not giving the envoys the real picture, rather giving them access to selective information only. “They are taking foreign envoys and making them meet Army officers, Police officer, some selected pro-BJP groups, half a dozen members of civil society. This is further exposing the government and giving an impression that everything is not well in Kashmir,” said Azad, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Earlier on January 9, a 15-member delegation from various countries, including United states of America, had gone to Jammu and Kashmir two-day visit to take stock of the ground situation. However, members of the European Union had skipped the visit as they did not want a “guided tour” of Jammu and Kashmir.
Last year in October, 23 EU members were in the Valley for two days to assess the situation, a move that wasn’t welcomed by the opposition. The opposition wasn’t allowed to visit the valley, as a delegation led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was turned away from the Srinagar airport.