“Free Kashmir from Islamic terrorism,” Kashmiri Pundits show placards to foreign delegation

In order to assess the ground situation, an official delegation of envoys of the foreign mission visited Jammu and Kashmir on Friday on the invitation of the Indian government. Members from 15 countries including the United States were on a two-day trip. They deboarded at the technical airport and were taken to the headquarters of the Indian army’s 15-Corps at BB Cantonment where top army officials briefed the foreign delegation and the focus was on cross-border terrorism.

During the visit, Kashmiri Pandits were seen holding posters with the slogan “Free Kashmir from Islamic terrorism,” on it. It shows that Kashmiri Pandits want Jammu & Kashmir free from Islamic terrorists who have been disturbing the peace in the valley for decades. However, security forces have maintained dominance over the situation there ever since the article 370 was abrogated on 5 August, but Kashmiri Pandits still feel insecure in the region because Pakistan-based terrorist groups have been trying to infiltrate into the Valley since the abrogation of Article 370. However, terrorist violence has declined since the Centre scrapped the special status of the state granted under Article 370 of the Constitution in August and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to leave the Kashmir Valley due to militancy three decades ago, are demanding free Kashmir from Islamic terrorism. After the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir was placed under unprecedented security cover to avoid any terror activities and maintaining the peace in the valley.

On the team’s visit, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The first meeting was with the security officials to understand the challenges of maintaining security, including the threat of terrorism in the Union Territory. This was followed by an interaction with civil society from all walks of life and from all over J&K. The group also interacted with the local media as well as a group of political leaders.”

“At no stage did we tell them that a certain meeting cannot be organized. We told them clearly the situation on the ground. Ambassadors are aware of the threat perception. We kept that aspect in mind when we designed the interaction which has been quite frank,” he said.

This is the second visit to Kashmir by foreign delegation after the abrogation of Article 370. A fresh group of foreign diplomats was on a two-day visit Jammu and Kashmir

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.