European diplomats visit Kashmir to check India’s loosening of clampdown
More than two dozen diplomats are visiting Indian-administered Kashmir, New Delhi said on Wednesday, as the country tries to reassure foreign allies, following several months of unrest in the territory.
The group includes European diplomats, some of whom declined a previous invitation from the Indian government to visit the region. A proposed vote in the European Union parliament next month could chastise India for its actions in Kashmir, Reuters said.
New Delhi stripped the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of special status and clamped down on communication and freedom of movement in August. India has since eased the restrictions, and restored limited internet connectivity last month, ending one of the world’s longest such shutdowns in a democracy. Many political leaders, including three former chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir state, are still in detention without charge, six months after the crackdown.
Representatives from countries that include Germany, Canada, France, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, Afghanistan and Austria are on a two-day visit to “witness for themselves the progressive normalization of the situation,” India’s Foreign Ministry said.