Govt’s ‘Guided Tour A Futile PR Exercise’: Cong

KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Coming down heavily on the BJP-led government at the Centre, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz on Wednesday said that the foreign envoys visit to Jammu and Kashmir was a futile Public Relations exercise by the government of India.

“As done earlier by the government of India and the government of Jammu and Kashmir, these Envoys’ will enjoy sightseeing in Kashmir and get back to their countries. Ultimately, this whole exercise will mean complete waste of taxpayers’ money,” Soz said in a statement issued to the media here on Wednesday.

He said that it was really unfortunate that the Indian government has not learnt any lesson from its past mistakes.

“Masters have rightly said that if the people do not learn a lesson from their mistakes, they are bound to repeat these mistakes, time and again,” he added.

Expressing optimism that the envoys will read “agony” of Kashmiris and realize the fact that Kashmiris are deeply sad and angry on the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India that happened to be the basis of the their constitutional relationship with India, Soz said that the people of Kashmir have already started a democratic movement for restoration of their internal autonomy enshrined in the Article 370 of the Constitution of India.

“The people of Kashmir are sure that Govt. of India’s security agencies will not be able to convince these envoys’ that things happened to be normal in Kashmir after Abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution of India,” he added.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari took a dig over a group of envoys being on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, saying the “guided tour is a joke” and “rubs salt into the wounds” of a badly bruised populace.

“Foreigners (Firangis) can go but a Joint Parliamentary Committee & Opposition leaders can’t go. This guided tour is a joke. Rubs salt into the wounds of a badly bruised populace,” Tewari tweeted, tagging a media report on the envoy’s visit to the Union Territory.

Delegations Come And Go: Mehbooba

Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Wednesday said that the delegations will come and go but the fact remains that the situation isn’t favourable in J&K.

Mehbooba was addressing a gathering in the Handwara area of Kupwara. She is on a two day-visit to the border district.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of her visit to Handwara, Mehbooba said that the delegations will come and go but the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is not good.

To a question about the approach of the central government and the visit of foreign delegations to J&K, Mehbooba said that the delegations keep coming but the situation is not good at all.

“The approach that has confined the movement of Jammu and Kashmir’s leadership is not good at all. We are being caged in our own homes,” she said.

Curated tours: Hurriyat

Hurriyat Conference called it a curated tour and said this is taking place when all attempts by APHC seeking dialogue between India Pakistan and people of J&K as a means of peaceful resolution of the issue stand snubbed. It said, “instead the leadership is jailed and harassed”.

“Meanwhile efforts are on to change the demographic composition of the state to undermine its disputed nature, after it was downgraded to a union territory of India and brought under its direct rule. All forms of peaceful protest or dissent by the people to this unilateral authoritarian move and its resultant effects, is curbed by force as the number of armed troops in the valley is highest anywhere in the world. In such situations a curated tour of foreign dignitaries to showcase normalcy in the valley to the outside world is misleading”, Hurriyat Conference press statement added.

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