Three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers are indecisive about meeting the foreign envoys and yet to receive an invite. The envoys are visiting Jammu and Kashmir from Thursday.
“We have no clue about the visit and we haven’t received any invite,” a source close to Mehbooba Mufti told News 18.
Imran Nabi Dar, spokesperson for the National Conference, said they haven’t received any formal invitation. “When we get it, we will decide. As of now, we have not got any invitation,” he said.
Adnan Ashraf, spokesman for the Sajjad Lone-headed People’s Conference too said he wasn’t aware of any such invite and Lone is not in town,
The visiting group will meet the newly-elected District Development Council chairpersons, “emerging” leaders, members of “friendly” political parties, journalists, and tour, travel and industry representatives. They will also meet civil, army and police officials during the visit.
The delegation is also not meeting any separatist leader as many of them continue to be incarcerated.
The envoys’ visit, guided by the Central government, is a follow-up to the restoration of high-speed internet. Sources say the foreign dignitaries would get a sense that Jammu and Kashmir is returning to normalcy after Article 370 was taken down 18 months ago. “This is to convey that there are no issues on ground. We held violence-free DDC polls with large participation and restored 4G cell phone internet. We are moving to hold Assembly elections too,” a senior officer told News 18.
The group that would comprise ambassadors from European and Gulf countries is the fourth one that will be touring Kashmir.
Sources say their interaction with the new DDC representatives is to convey that grassroot democracy has been initiated after the repeal of Article 370 in August 2019.
The proposed meet takes place after the recent move to restore 4G mobile internet services, which otherwise functioned on painstakingly low speed 2G, after 18 months. The decision was welcomed by the United States. The new US administration said they would like continued political and economic progress to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.