By Aarti Tikoo Singh
New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Envoys of at least 24 countries are visiting Jammu & Kashmir on Wednesday to assess the security situation and developments since the nullification of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. This is the third such visit in one and a half years.
Top official sources told IANS that envoys of Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, EU, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are visiting Srinagar and Jammu, the summer and winter capitals of the union territory.
In 2019, the Centre had facilitated a visit of envoys from 23 European members of Parliament. Last year, envoys from 17 countries including the US visited.
The latest visit assumes significance in view of the many developments that have taken place since 2019. Soon after the state was reorganised into union territory, the Centre had imposed a communication blockade and detained several politicians in view of the threats of terrorism and violence.
Not only has the communication including 4G Internet been restored, but all the politicians have been set free as well.
The union territory also held successful District Development Council and Block Development Council elections, strengthening grassroots democracy across Jammu & Kashmir. Some new political parties have also emerged since 2019. All the political parties have resumed their normal political activities as well.
Sources said the envoys will meet representatives from various political parties and civil society during their trip, to get first hand information about the situation in J&K.