A delegation of 16-member foreign envoys, including a US ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster, reached Srinagar on Thursday (January 9) to take stock of the ground situation in the Kashmir Valley. The envoys, who will be briefed on the security situation in Kashmir, are mostly from Latin American and African countries.
The Delhi-based envoys are on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, countries from the European Union are not part of the foreign delegates' team visiting Jammu and Kashmir. The first visit by diplomats since the abrogation of the erstwhile state's special status were in August 2018.
The members were taken to the Army's 15 core headquarters in Srinagar from the airport, where they arrived by a special chartered flight. The delegation will be meeting the members of civil society at a hotel in the city. Some politicians, including former legislators, are also scheduled to meet the delegation.
In October, a European Parliamentary delegation had come to Kashmir, but questions were raised as to why an Indian parliamentary delegation was not allowed to visit the valley.
Among the prominent political leaders, who are to meet the envoys are members of a group of senior politicians, who recently met the Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday in Jammu.
The group led by Altaf Bukhari, a former Peoples Democratic Party minister had said: "They are looking for achievable options for reviving political activity in Kashmir and moving beyond Article 370."
Situation normal in Kashmir Valley
The situation was normal in the Kashmir valley and shops and other establishments are open. However, pre-paid mobile and internet services remain suspended since August 5, when Centre scrapped Article 370 and Article 35(A), besides divided the state into two Union Territories (UTs).