EU nudges Modi Govt to lift restrictions from J&K

After visit by envoys, EU nudges Modi Govt to lift remaining restrictions from J&K

EU nudges Modi to lift remaining restrictions from Jammu and Kashmir after envoys' visit

PTI file photo

The European Union has nudged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Government in New Delhi to lift the remaining restrictions from the newly-created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

After a recent tour by the EU ambassador to India, Ugo Astuto, to J&K, a spokesperson of the bloc said that the visit confirmed that the Modi Government had taken “positive steps to restore normalcy”. “Some restrictions remain, notably on internet access and mobile services, and some political leaders are still in detention,” Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, added in a statement issued on Friday.

Astuto was among 25 foreign envoys who recently visited J&K. The government arranged the visit by the foreign envoys to J&K so that they could make a first-hand assessment of the efforts made by it to bring the situation under control. This was the second time New Delhi allowed official representatives of foreign governments to visit Srinagar since August 5, when Modi Government initiated the process to strip J&K of its special status and reorganize the state into two Union Territories.

“While we recognise the serious security concerns, it is important that the remaining restrictions be lifted swiftly,” added the EU spokesperson.

Apart from Astuto, the envoys, who visited J&K this week, included several ambassadors from the member-nations of the EU.

Virginie said that the programme of the visit by the foreign envoys organised by the Government of India had included meetings with civil and military authorities, some political representatives, as well as selected representatives of civil society and the business community.

“The visit presented a welcome opportunity to see the situation on the ground and to interact with local interlocutors. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with India on the situation in the region,” she said.

Some of the foreign envoys who visited J&K this week had a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on their return from Srinagar.

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