National Conference (NC) leader and former CM Omar Abdullah took a dig on Thursday at the visit of 24 foreign envoys to Kashmir, asking them to send "real tourists" from their countries to Jammu and Kashmir.
Thank you for visiting Kashmir. Now please send some real tourists from your countries to visit J&K. #envoysvisitJK— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 18, 2021
Senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz also described the visit of foreign envoys from across the world as a 'futile exercise' on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Manish Tewari in a tweet said that foreigners can go but a Joint Parliamentary Committee and Opposition leaders can’t go. "This guided tour is a joke. Rubs salt into the wounds of a badly bruised populace," he said.
Foreigners ( Firangi’s ) can go but a Joint Parlimentary Committee & Opposition leaders can’t go .— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) February 17, 2021
This guided tour is a joke . Rubs salt into the wounds of a badly bruised populace. https://t.co/jLIObVghPd
The envoys from European, Latin American and African countries arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir for assessing the ground situation in the Union Territory following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in August 2019.
The visit by 24 foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir was aimed at enabling them to witness the union territory's march on the path of inclusive development and the dynamism in the grassroots democratic institutions following the successful conduct of the recent local polls, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
The comments by MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava came at the end of the two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir by the envoys. Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, two groups of envoys had visited Jammu and Kashmir.
"The idea behind facilitating these visits was to enable Foreign Heads of Missions to get a better sense of the ground situation and the prevailing normalcy in the union territory," Srivastava said, replying to a media query. "Subsequently, there has been an enhanced interest in the ongoing political and democratic process, including strengthening of grassroots democracy in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The group comprised envoys from Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cote d'Ivore, Cuba, Estonia, Finland, European Union, Eritrea, France, Ghana, Italy, Ireland, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Malawi, Netherlands, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Sweden and Tajikistan.
(With PTI inputs)