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Foreign envoys assess Kashmir situation on a 2-day visit

By: Jahangir Sofi, Owais Gul

Srinagar, Feb 17: A delegation of 22 foreign envoys from different countries arrived here on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the development work and the security situation in the Union Territory.

The visiting delegation comprise of envoys from different countries, that include Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Soon after landing at Srinagar Airport, the delegation was accorded a traditional welcome with girls singing traditional Kashmiri songs—Wanwun – amid showering of flower petals.

According to news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), after coming out of the Srinagar Airport, they straightly drove towards Magam area of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district where it met the recently elected District Development Council (DDC) members from the district including the Chairperson Nazir Ahmad Khan.

After meeting the delegation, Mr Khan said that they discussed the issue of development with them and projected the need of some developmental works before them.

Later, the delegation moved to Srinagar’s Lalit-Grand Palace where they had lunch. The delegation later visited Dargah Hazratbal shrine. The delegation entered into the premises of the shrine as well and later posed for a photograph outside the shrine.

The delegation later reached Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) where they met a number of delegations including artisans, sports men and others.

When contacted, the people who met the delegation said they only discussed the issues confronting them in the particular field they are affiliated with.

The sports persons when connected said that they highlighted the enthusiasm among the youth about sports and discussed the issues confronting them.

Similarly, artisans while divulging the details of the meeting stated that although they were not English speaking but a government employee assisted them, saying that they discussed the issues about handicraft and other relevant.

The delegation later interacted with a section of media at SKICC. The mediamen who participated in the meeting stated that the delegation discussed the developmental issues as well as the situation in the Valley.

Wishing anonymity, the media men informed that they were asked about the situation in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370 and also the developmental scenario here in Kashmir.

Pertinently, this is the third delegation visiting the Valley to assess the ground situation in the region after the central government abrogated the special status of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories including Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh.

Notably, the delegation will fly to the winter capital of the Union territory tomorrow where they would likely meet the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, civil society members and others. —(KNO)

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