Special to JK News Today
Jammu, February 17:
A group of European envoys is on a visit of the Kashmir Valley from Wednesday to see for themselves the situation in correct perspective . This is a normal practice for any nation to invite the diplomats of other countries to make their own assessment of the situation about which various stories crisscross one another and cloud the real picture.
This situation has arisen vis-à-vis Kashmir because of three major factors – the August 5, 2019 decisions of the Government of India to scrap special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 that was part of the Indian constitution ; and bifurcation of the state into two union territories of J&K with legislature , and Ladakh without any such political institution.
Secondly, these fateful decisions gained extra significance and attention because an armed militancy directed against the Indian nation was already going on and that had caused huge losses. Thousands of youth were killed, a sizeable section migrated from the Valley and its image suffered an unimaginable dent – from a safe tourist destination to the hot spot where guns and grenades exploded.
And Pakistan is a major factor trouble in the Valley . it continues to do so, and it is experimenting with different permutations to keep the trouble going on in the Valley .
What would the envoys on “ guided tour” do? Will they breach the hospitality of their hosts and report back what their hosts want them to see? These are some of the questions that always crop up when such exercises are undertaken .
But then there is an appropriate answer : during the previous visits , the envoys spoke their mind and did not mince words, of course in diplomatic lexicon, to tell the government of India what it should be doing in Kashmir.
In the aftermath of the previous visits in 2019 and early 2020, it was made clear to Delhi that it would have to release the political prisoners- they were concerned particularly about the detention of the three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. They were also critical of the suspension of the internet services in Jammu and Kashmir .
That certain steps were taken in this regard by the government at the time of its choosing , but the impression of the international community about Kashmir was also dispelled .
There are concerns and the governments know it better when to do the things for they are better aware of the situation as they deal with the incidents and individuals on day to day basis than the international community .
The importance of the ongoing visit has to be seen against the backdrop of what has happened in the past few months , especially after the Corona virus started showing signs of decline that political activities have resumed, the political leaders have started visiting various parts of Kashmir, holding their workers’ conventions. They also took part in the District development Council elections in all the 20 districts of Jammu ad Kashmir. These steps define a direction , which may not be known to the world outside that how it has changed the democratic landscape in Kashmir .