NEW DELHI: A recent visit of 24 foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir provided them with first-hand experience of the developments in the Union Territory, particularly with respect to the restoration of grassroots democracy in the form of district development councils, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said 24 envoys visited Jammu and Kashmir on February 17-18 and they represented various geographical regions.
"Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in January and February 2020, we had groups of envoys visiting Jammu and Kashmir. There were two such groups and 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," he said.
"When we saw that there has been more interest in the ongoing democratic and political process, including the strengthening of grassroots politics in Jammu and Kashmir, the present visit was facilitated," Srivastava added.
During the recent visit, the envoys interacted with a cross-section of people, including members of the civil society, elected representatives and officials, he said.
"The visit helped the envoys witness first hand the developments in the Union Territory, particularly with respect to the restoration of grassroots democracy in the form of district development councils," Srivastava said.
The group comprised the envoys from Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cote d'Ivore, Cuba, Estonia, Finland, the European Union, Eritrea, France, Ghana, Italy, Ireland, the Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Malawi, the Netherlands, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Sweden and Tajikistan.