New Delhi: With requests coming in from foreign diplomatic missions based in New Delhi to visit Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) so that top foreign diplomats can see the situation for themselves first-hand, the government is understood to be working on a plan to take foreign diplomats to J&K in the near-future. “There have been recent discussions going on between the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and certain European countries regarding a programme for the visit,” a source told this newspaper.
Speculation is rife that January 9 is being looked at as a possible date for the visit. Sources told this newspaper that as and when the Government decides, the envoys would be taken at “short notice”. There has also been speculation that diplomats of certain Gulf nations could also be taken to J&K.
It may be recalled that a delegation of MPs belonging to the European Union (EU) had visited Kashmir a few weeks ago in their individual capacity with the permission of the Indian Government but that visit had been organised by a private body and not the MEA.
It has been over five months now that India revoked Article 370 that granted autonomy to J&K besides splitting the erstwhile state into two union territories. Nevertheless, several European nations and the United States have been pushing for lifting of restrictions in Kashmir. The Islamic world, barring Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey, has also been seen as largely supportive of India’s move.