J&K situation witnessing a visible change, envoys tell L-G Sinha

Visit improved understanding of important issues concerning Union Territory, says Eritrea Ambassador

The 24 envoys, who toured Jammu on their second day visit to J&K on Thursday, told Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha that the situation was “witnessing a visible change” in the Union Territory (UT),

“Change is visible in J&K. The envoys’ visit to J&K is an eye opener and improved the understanding of important issues concerning J&K,” Eritrea Ambassador Alem Tsehaye Woldermariam said, as he presented a vote of thanks on behalf of the delegation to Mr. Sinha in Jammu.

Mr. Sinha said the August 5 move has “ended years of suffering for J&K people”.

“Efforts of the Prime Minister have ushered the UT into a new era, bringing socio-economic development in the region and empowerment of people. We have developed an ecosystem of democratic values, welfare principles and economic development in J&K,” the L-G said.

He apprised the envoys of investments made in infrastructure, industries, education, healthcare, skill development and sustainable livelihood. “Every citizen of J&K has a safe future and recognition,” the L-G said.

Terming terrorism as the biggest enemy of humankind, the Lt. Governor said, “Despite relentless attempts by our neighbour to destabilise the security situation and trigger social disharmony by exporting terror, the government is resolute towards the holistic and equitable development of J&K.”

He said the recent District Development Council polls were “peaceful, violence-free and fair”. “Now, the true democracy is flourishing in the UT,” the L-G said.

Around 26 people representing civil society groups and elected members met the envoys too.

“No one demanded statehood [during the meeting]. Everyone told them that they were happy with the abrogation of special status since they got their rights, which were denied before August 5, 2019 in J&K,” Jammu Municipal Corporation Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta said.

The envoys, who met J&K Chief Justice and senior officials, also visited the headquarters of the 15 Corps in Badami Bagh area, before travelling to Jammu.

An official said Lieutenant General B.S. Raju, General Officer Commanding of the Chinar Corps, and IGP Vijay Kumar briefed the envoys the “ground situation at the Line of Control and in the hinterland”.

“Overall security indicators have improved in J&K. However, the terrorists still retain the ability for a terror act,” said Lt. Gen. Raju, who also highlighted “the efforts of Pakistan to target political workers”.

He said the attacks on political workers is a clear message that Pakistan-sponsored elements do not want a change to status quo.

Centre internationalising Kashmir: Congress

J&K Congress president G.A Mir termed the envoys’ meetings as “stage-managed show”.

“The envoys didn’t meet any designated member from the Congress and the National Conference. They met those who speak the BJP language and praise the BJP. Why is the government itself internationalising the Kashmir issue by sending foreign envoys to Kashmir,” Mr. Mir asked.

Taking a jibe at the envoys, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said, “Thank you for visiting Kashmir. Now please send some real tourists from your countries to visit J&K.”

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari, in a tweet, said, “Foreigners [firangis] can go but a Joint Parliamentary Committee and the Opposition leaders can’t go. This guided tour is a joke. Rubs salt into the wounds of a badly bruised populace.”

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