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Foreign envoys in J&K on a fact-finding visit

Ground study:Foreign envoys arriving at the Srinagar airport on Thursday on a two-day visit.ANI

Ground study:Foreign envoys arriving at the Srinagar airport on Thursday on a two-day visit.ANI  

A 15-member foreign envoys’ delegation arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir and met over 100 people, including senior Valley-based politicians, top newspaper editors and grassroots representatives.

They were seeking feedback on the ground situation post the revocation of the State’s special status, Pakistan’s attempts at interference and the immediate demands of the people.

Unlike the controversial tour of the European Union (EU) parliamentarians in October last year, these envoys, including U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster and the Norwegian Ambassador, drove past busy streets from the airport to reach Lalit Grand Palace Hotel. The venue is close to the sub-jail where National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah has been detained since August 5. The envoys did not meet him.

No shutdown was observed nor was any violence reported, unlike during the EU parliamentarians’ visit.

During their interactions with politicians, local editors and elected grassroots leaders, the envoys posed pointed questions on the revocation of Article 370 and wanted to know if Pakistan was making attempts to interfere, delegates at the meetings told The Hindu .

There was a common demand for restoration of Internet services, they added.

The foreign envoys, mainly from South American, African and Asian nations, held a closed-door interaction with a group of prominent politicians led by Altaf Bukhari, fast emerging as the face of a non-NC, non-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) third front.

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