Kashmiris comprising representatives of panchayats, civic bodies and NGOs of Jammu and Kashmir told a delegation of visiting MPs, diplomats and officials from the US, Latin American and African countries that the Pakistani propaganda about Kashmir was bogus. After the withdrawal of special state status from Jammu and Kashmir, diplomats from 16 countries including US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster arrived in Srinagar on Thursday to inspect the current situation.
Foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said that the foreign delegates’ first meeting was with the security personnel there. The delegates wanted to get information about the security conditions in Jammu and Kashmir first, he said. “The purpose of the visit is to show diplomats what efforts the government has made to normalise the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Kumar said.
Apart from the US ambassador, the other key members of the group were South Korean Ambassador Shin Bong-kil, Norway Ambassador Hans Jacob, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Sanah Chow and Argentine envoy Daniel. All of them were taken to Srinagar to meet members of panchayat, representatives of local bodies and NGOs so that they could gauge the mood of Kashmiris.
Representatives from the group told him that they completely reject the lies of a Pakistan in Kashmir. Apart from this, he told that the people of Kashmir will not give even an inch to Pakistan.
This delegation visiting India to know about the condition of Kashmiris includes representatives of Bangladesh, Vietnam, Norway, Maldives, South Korea, Morocco and Nigeria besides the US. Officials said on Wednesday that Brazilian diplomat Andre Aranha Correa do Lago was supposed to come to Jammu and Kashmir, too, but he declined the invite due to prior appointments elsewhere.
This is the second visit of politicians and diplomats after the Indian parliament rendered Article 370 ineffective and created two union territories: Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Earlier, a team of European MPs on a tour of India had visited Jammu and Kashmir in October 2019. That was the first meeting of a foreign delegation with Kashmiris after the provisions of Article 370 giving special status to Kashmir were lifted. Prior to the Kashmir visit, European MPs had reached Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi and met him. They met with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, too.
That delegation of 28 MPs of the European Parliament visited Jammu and Kashmir while reposing their faith in ‘zero tolerance’ against terrorism and criticising Pakistan’s meddling in Kashmir affairs.