The Narendra Modi government today organized a trip of 16 foreign envoys, including US ambassador Kenneth Juster, to Jammu & Kashmir. The notable absentee in the group is the delegation which represents EU – this group is expected to go later. The group of envoys will meet with both government and civil society members, according to the government.
This is a positive step as it should be seen in the context of the ongoing restrictions on Jammu & Kashmir, imposed ahead of the Constitutional changes in August. The current trip may be the first step in the government phasing out restrictions. The restrictions, which may have been justified initially on security grounds, have taken a toll on both economic and educational activities. It is inconceivable in this day and age to have either activity in the backdrop of an internet blockade. Therefore, any development which holds the promise of a phasing out of restrictions is welcome. read more