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Home / News / India /  25 foreign envoys take a tour of Kashmir to assess situation in region

A second batch of 25 foreign envoys arrived in Srinagar on Wednesday on a government facilitated two-day trip aimed at familiarizing them with the situation in Kashmir.

The trip will help the diplomats assess for themselves the situation in Kashmir, which has seen curbs on communication and movement of people besides the detention of key political leaders after Parliament revoked its special status in August.

The diplomats from countries including France, Germany, Afghanistan, Canada, and Uzbekistan, could not make a scheduled visit to Baramulla because of bad weather, government officials said. They, however, met members of Kashmir’s trading community in Srinagar.

This comes ahead of a visit to Europe by foreign minister S. Jaishankar later this week and the India-European Union Summit in March for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to travel to Brussels.

“We (25 foreign envoys) are interacting with the traders, businesswomen & entrepreneurs in Srinagar about the status of business & tourism in J&K on the sideline of our tour to this beautiful valley," Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires Tahir Qadiry said on Twitter.

News reports quoted German ambassador Walter J. Lindner as saying that it was too soon to give his assessment of the situation in Kashmir.

The diplomats will meet “representatives of the civil society, including youth from different ethnic, religious and socio-economic communities, local business and political leaders, civil administration and representatives of mainstream media. They will also receive briefing about the development programmes being implemented, get assessment of the security situation, and witness for themselves the progressive normalization of the situation," the foreign ministry said.

The visit of the envoys comes after New Delhi rolled back some restrictions on communications, including mobile phone services and messaging services as well internet services via mobile telephony.

The international community has largely agreed with India’s position on the need for development in the region, but the continuing restrictions on communications and detentions of politicians have attracted criticism.

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