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A group of 15 foreign envoys based in New Delhi, including the US ambassador to India, began a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. This represents only the second high-profile foreign delegation to visit the region since the revocation of Article 370 last August. The Centre’s aim in inviting them is to let them judge for themselves its claim of normalcy having been restored.

The last visit by a foreign delegation, of members of European Parliament back in October, did not work out well, and this is a chance for New Delhi to make amends. But then, Kashmir has been wracked by terrorism for so long that what constitutes “normalcy" there is hard to assess. Perhaps a comparison with the state of affairs before the region’s autonomy was withdrawn would help. Information is scarce, but we do know that much of the Valley is under what one would call a “cyber curfew", with internet services having been cut off since August. Also, the state’s top leaders remain in detention. While allowing diplomats in is clearly a positive sign, it would aid India’s cause to let Kashmiris get back online. The world is waiting to hear from them on social media.

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