European Union asks India to swiftly lift restrictions imposed in J-K

Ruben Fields
February 17, 2020

The envoys represent Afghanistan, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, the European Union, France, Germany, Republic of Guinea, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Rwanda, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Uzbekistan, the MEA stated.

After this, the members went to the hotel back there they are meeting various delegations.

The envoys are likely to be briefed by senior officers in Srinagar about security situation in Kashmir.

This will be the first major political exercise in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre scrapped Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Representatives of the Valley's biggest trade body - the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries - said they had no information about the diplomats' visit.

The visit, organised by the government, had been criticised by opposition parties in India who were stopped in the early days of the lockdown from visiting Jammu and Kashmir. Civil society members told envoys that internet blockage continues to remain an obstacle in the restoration of full normalcy and they believe that full Internet should be restored.

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He said the Saudis had reached out to Iran after the killing of Soleimani, but when Iran had responded the contact had ended. It was meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, which Iran insists it does not want to do.

The envoys are also expected to meet Lt. Governor GC Murmu in Jammu.

Last month, envoys of 15 countries including US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and diplomats from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh, and Peru visited Jammu and Kashmir on January 9 and 10 to see first-hand efforts being made by the government in the region.

Iltija Mufti, daughter of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday took potshots at the visit of the envoys.

In a direct tweet to the European Union envoys, Ms. Mufti's daughter wrote, "Hope the European Union question the Government of India about Internet ban since 5th August, economic losses suffered, muzzling local media in Kashmir, 3 ex-CMs slapped with draconian PSA and troop deployment to create fear amongst people normalcy's an illusion".

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