This visit has been planned to show the envoys firsthand the efforts made by the government to bring the situation back to normal post abrogation of Article 370 and Jammu and Kashmir officially becoming Union Territory.
Around 15 foreign envoys left New Delhi for a two-day guided tour of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. The envoys are from the US, the UK, China, Russia and France (all are Permanent Members of the UNSC), South Korea, Vietnam, Fiji, Philippines, Maldives, Bangladesh, Norway, Togo, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Argentina, and Guyana. This visit has been planned to show the envoys firsthand the efforts made by the government to bring the situation back to normal post abrogation of Article 370 and Jammu and Kashmir officially becoming Union Territory. The programme for the visit was drawn up keeping in mind the threat posed by terrorism and taking adequate precautions for security.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), “Today, there are 15 ambassadors visiting Jammu and Kashmir. And they are visiting at the invitation of the government and so far they have had meetings with security officials and discussed the threat of terrorism.”
“This was followed by an interaction with civil society from all walks of life and from all over J&K. The group also interacted with the local media as well as a group of political leaders. They will have more meetings tomorrow in Jammu before returning to Delhi,” the official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar of MEA told the media.
“The visit was organized following requests from some Delhi based envoys to undertake a visit to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Our consistent position has been that any visit the Union Territory of J&K by foreign dignitaries will be based on assessment by local administration on the prevailing security situation,” Kumar added.
Last year in October, a group of 28 European Union Parliamentarians had visited the union territory of Kashmir were the first to visit post-abrogation of Article 370.
Indian Army’s Mission Reach Out
After the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army launched a special operation called “Mission Reach Out” which will not only ensure peace in the new Union Territories but also to provide assistance to the people.
This according to Jammu-based Army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand is in addition to other activities being carried out by the Indian Army over the last three decades. The efforts made by the Indian Army has been focussing on winning the hearts and minds of the people and to move away from the youth from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.
In 2019, more than 2,500 incidents of ceasefire violation took place on the borders and claimed the lives of 36 Indian nationals.
Once the “Mission Reach Out” was launched last August, the Indian Army has majorly intensified its civic-action programmes across the region in an effort to ensure peace and to keep away anti-social and anti-national elements.
According to Anand, 43 goodwill public schools with 15,000 students and three specialised training-cum-coaching centres have been set up by the Army. Also over 120 sporting events for the youth, 200 medical camps, and 90 veterinary camps have been organised.