New Delhi: The federal government on Thursday mentioned the target of taking envoys of 15 nations to Kashmir was to assist them see the efforts to convey again normalcy within the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 and rejected criticism that the go to is sort of a guided tour.
The envoys from 15 nations together with from the US started a two-day government-facilitated journey to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. The Congress accused the federal government of “adopting double standards” by organising “guided tours” to Jammu and Kashmir for overseas envoys, however not permitting Indian politicians to go to the Union territories.
Apart from the US, the group comprised envoys from South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Fiji, Maldives, Norway, Philippines, Morocco, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Guyana and Togo, Exterior Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar mentioned.
“The objective of the visit is for the envoys to see the efforts being made by the government to bring the situation to normal and see first-hand the impact of series of steps taken by the local administration to normalise the situation in recent weeks,” he mentioned.
Requested why the envoys from the nations of the European Union declined to be a part of the group, he mentioned they wished to go to Jammu and Kashmir in a gaggle, however the authorities didn’t lengthen invite to all.
“We wanted the group to be of manageable size. There was a constraint of numbers. We wanted to have broad-based representation covering various geographical regions…On many issues they (European countries) take group position. Invitation wasn’t sent to all (EU) member countries,” Kumar mentioned.
Diplomatic sources mentioned envoys from a number of European nations conveyed to the federal government that they can’t go at such a discover and sought to go to Kashmir with none restrictions.
Kumar mentioned the federal government would take a look at the opportunity of taking extra envoys to Jammu and Kashmir relying on the state of affairs there.
He additionally rejected criticism that the go to is a “guided tour”.
The envoys visited Srinagar on Thursday and they are going to be in Jammu on Friday.
Kumar mentioned the programme for the journey was drawn up preserving in thoughts the menace posed by terrorism and taking sufficient precautions for safety.
“Since their arrival today morning, the group had a series of meetings. The first meeting was with the security officials to understand the challenges of maintaining security, including the threat of terrorism in the union territory,” he mentioned.
“This was followed by an interaction with civil society from all walks of life and from all over J and K. The group also interacted with the local media as well as a group of political leaders,” Kumar added.
He mentioned the go to was organised following requests from some envoys based mostly in Delhi.
“Our consistent position has been that any visit to the Union Territory of J and K by foreign dignitaries will be based on assessment by local administration on the prevailing security situation,” Kumar mentioned.
Requested about political leaders who met the group, he mentioned the go to by the envoys to Kashmir shouldn’t be but over.