The government has decided to take the second set of foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir this week, a month after the first group of diplomats was taken to the region to see the situation in the aftermath of the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution in August.
The second batch of envoys will include diplomats of some European and Gulf countries.
“Since the last visit of envoys to Jammu and Kashmir on 9-10 January, we have received several requests from foreign ambassadors to visit the region. A group of envoys from different geographical regions will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir this week. We will share further updates in due course,” sources said.
It is understood that a comparatively larger batch of diplomats would be visiting the region in the second round and include representatives from large and small nations across the globe.
The trip will take place days before External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visits Brussels where he is expected to meet members of the European Parliament to explain the situation in Jammu and Kashmir which was stripped of its special status in August. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to visit Brussels for the India-European Union summit likely to be held on 13 March.
Last month, New Delhi had taken 15 foreign diplomats, including US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, to Jammu and Kashmir. Ambassadors from EU countries had declined the government’s invite at that time expressing reservations. The EU ambassadors had wanted to visit Kashmir and meet people of their choice rather than be allowed to meet groups chosen by the government.
Given the security situation, the government had made clear that it would not be practical to expect the envoys to be allowed complete freedom to meet whoever they wanted during their trip.
The proposed visit to the region also comes after the EU Parliament last month deferred until March a vote on a joint draft resolution on Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act, that India termed as a “diplomatic victory”.