SRINAGAR: Nearly two months after the holding of first-ever District Development Council (DDC) polls, a group of 24 foreign envoys including those from OIC countries arrived on two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation.The 24-member delegation, including those from OIC members Bangladesh, Senegal, Malaysia and Tajkistan. led by EU envoy Ugo Astuto arrived in Srinagar airport.
After landing at Srinagar airport, the envoys drove to Degree College Magam in central Kashmir’s Bandipora district amid tight security to interact with the newly elected DDC chairman and DDC members, panchayat members, traders and civil society members of Dubam. Top mainstream leaders, including three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, however, were not invited for interaction.
Budgam DDC chairman Nazir Ahmad Khan told reporters that the interaction focused on developmental issues. “We talked development for which Budgam district has been longing for long. We talked about roti (bread), makan (house, bijli (electricity), sadak (road) and pani (water). Our interaction remained confined to it.”
After the hour-long interaction, the envoys returned to Srinagar and held deliberations with the mayor, DDC chairmen, BDC chairpersons, municipal council chairpersons and elected DDC and panchayat members. The group of envoys also visited the Hazratbal shrine.
On Thursday, the envoys will visit Jammu and are expected to meet DDC members and representatives of some social organisations. In February last year, the government had arranged a trip for 15 foreign envoys to visit Srinagar to review the situation in J&K.