NC upset over foreign envoys' “guided tour” to Kashmir

NC upset over foreign envoys' “guided tour” to Kashmir

US envoy to India Kenneth I Juster and other diplomats from 16 countries on their arrival at the airport in Srinagar, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Credit: PTI

Regional National Conference (NC) Thursday expressed disappointment with the way the foreign envoys were brought to the Kashmir Valley “to endorse the Centre’s claims of normalcy.”

“In a repeat of the visit of the European Members of Parliament, the envoys have been brought here on a guided tour, where access has been severely limited to those handpicked individuals who will toe the government line”, NC spokesperson said in a statement.

“The National Conference wishes to ask these envoys that if the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “normal”, then why are scores of people, including three former chief ministers, under detention for almost 160 days and why have the people of Jammu and Kashmir been denied access to the internet for over five months?” he asked.

The spokesperson said that while the rest of the country is told that peaceful dissent is the cornerstone of democracy, “This right does not seem to extend to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Are the people of J&K expected to live without the fundamental rights accorded to other Indian citizens?” he asked.

“While these sorts of visits may provide short-lived propaganda victories, true normalcy will only be achieved when all detainees are released, communications and internet restored and genuine political activity resumed,” the spokesperson added.

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