Foreign envoys on two-day J&K visit from Feb. 17 to assess situation post DDC polls: officials


Envoys from Europe and Africa will visit Jammu and Kashmir on February 17 to assess the development work and the security situation in the union territory, especially after the successful completion of the District Development Council elections, officials said on Feb. 16.

They said during their two-day visit, the envoys would receive first-hand information on the development work undertaken by the Union Territory administration after abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

 

Showcasing the efforts of the Centre for ensuring democracy at grass-roots level, the newly-elected members of the DDC would be meeting besides holding a meeting with a few prominent citizens and administrative secretaries.

Strengthening of democratic institutions at the grass-roots level would be significantly highlighted, the officials said, adding that during a presentation the envoys would be shown how panchayats have been empowered by giving them financial powers.

On the second day, the ambassadors would visit Jammu where they would be meeting Lt. Gov. Manoj Sinha besides some of the DDC members and representatives of some social organisations, they said.

This is an another diplomatic exercise being undertaken by the government to counter the propaganda that is being orchestrated by Pakistan at international foras, the officials said.

The envoys would be briefed about the security situation by senior officers involved with the law-and-order situation in the Kashmir valley, especially attempts of Pakistan to push terrorists into India through the Line of Control and also about the frequent ceasefire violations, they said.

Last year, envoys from 17 nations including the U.S. had visited Jammu and Kashmir. The team also comprised ambassadors from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh and Peru.

Three months after the Centre withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two union territories, a delegation of 23 EU MPs was taken on a two-day visit to assess the situation in the Union Territory by the International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies, a Delhi-based think tank.

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