NEW DELHI: As a bunch of foreign diplomats reached Kashmir on Wednesday, CPM leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami questioned the motives of the central government behind the move and demanded to know as to why Indian opposition leaders were not being allowed to visit Kashmir and meet the people.
Talking to ANI, Tarigami said: "Since the visit of this foreign diplomats' delegation is being felicitated by the government, it is pertinent to ask as to what exactly the government wants to achieve through this exercise? If they are facilitating the visit of foreign delegations, why are they not allowing Indian Opposition leaders to visit Kashmir and meet the people?"
Diplomats belonging to 25 countries including Germany, Italy, New Zealand, France and Canada on Wednesday reached Kashmir to witness the ground situation in the region more than six months after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
Tarigami accused the Union government of making false claims of normalcy in Kashmir.
"The government has disturbed the region after the abrogation of Article 370. They have ruined the economy of the state. If they are claiming normalcy then why have they slapped the draconian and unlawful Public Safety Act (PSA) on former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir on farcical grounds?," the CPM leader said.
This is the second batch of foreign diplomats that will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir in the last one month.
The delegation will meet orchard owners in North Kashmir before reaching Srinagar where they are scheduled to meet media representatives, civil society groups and politicians of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian Army will also brief the visiting diplomats on the security situation in the Valley and are expected to give a detailed presentation on Pakistan's involvement in fomenting and sponsoring terrorism.
According to reports, the envoys will have a night halt in Srinagar before moving to Jammu next day where they are expected to meet Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu and civil society groups.
The delegation includes diplomats from Canada, Austria, Uzbekistan, Uganda, Slovak Republic, The Netherlands, Namibia, Kyrgyz Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Tajikistan, France, Mexico, Denmark, Italy, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Poland, and Rwanda.
The fresh batch of diplomats also includes European Union (EU) representatives, and their participation assumes significance as the EU Parliament recently initiated to bring a joint draft resolution on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Kashmir, the vote on which was later deferred.
Also, the India-EU summit is also slated to take place in Brussels next month where External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be participating.
Last month, envoys of 15 countries including US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and diplomats from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh, and Peru visited Jammu and Kashmir on January 9 and 10.