Srinagar, Feb 17: A group of 24 diplomats from foreign missions, who arrived in Srinagar on Wednesday visited many parts of Valley including Magam Block of Central Kashmir’s Budgam.
Though people in Magam town observed complete shutdown, but the Panchayat and Block representatives accorded a traditional welcome to the visiting foreign envoys. Students performed ‘rouf’ and sang traditional Kashmiri folk songs to welcome the visiting envoys.
Local sources said all shops and business establishments remained shut in Magam while skeletal movement of traffic was observed on the roads.
Sources said that visiting envoys were welcomed by the District Development Council (DDC) Chairman, Nazir Ahmad Khan and other panchayat representatives. Thereafter, Nazir Khan also addressed the envoys.
They said that diplomats were briefed on Panchayati Raj and grievance redressal through Back to Villages and Block. The Block and Panchayat representatives were all praise for the government to bring governance at the doorstep of the people.
Official sources said that French envoy Emmanuel Lenain and Italian envoy Vincenzo de Luca interacted with locals as well.
The delegation also visited Hazratbal and met some officials including Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azam Mattu.
Srinagar centre also observed shutdown in wake of delegations visit.
Pertinently, foreign diplomats from Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the European Union are on 2 days visit.
Tomorrow the delegation will visit Jammu where they will interact with LG Manoj Sinha besides other government officials.
This is the first visit by foreign diplomats to Jammu and Kashmir since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Two batches of foreign diplomats had earlier visited Jammu and Kashmir in January and February last year when there was internet gag in Valley in wake of abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir. (KNT)