20 diplomats from various countries to witness
13 September 2002
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: About 20 diplomats from various countries including the US, UK and Germany will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir to witness the four-phase assembly elections in the state beginning on September 16. Envoys from Japan, including a woman, are already here while consular representatives from US, Canada, Germany are expected by Saturday, official sources told PTI. The remaining diplomats will be arriving here before the commencement of the first phase of the polls next Monday. India has rejected the demand for international observers but said representatives from various embassies based in the country were free to come and see the whole election process including the vote counting process. Two choppers have been pressed into service to facilitate the movement of diplomats. Security for them is to be provided jointly by Jammu and Kashmir state police, security agencies and para-military forces, the sources said. The diplomats have been told they are free to speak to various sections of the people in the state about the election process and the arrangements made for it, they said.