Kashmir A Favourite Destination For Envoys

Kashmir A Favourite Destination For Envoys

15 May 2011
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: Kashmir seems to be on international focus again as the Ambassadors and envoys of more than 10 countries have visited the Valley in past six months. Since November last year, envoys from the countries including the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and European Union visited the Valley for various purposes including assessing the political situation and for exploring trade and tourism links. First the Canadian Embassy delegation met prominent separatist and mainstream leaders here in November last year. A month later, the Ambassador of Indonesia in New Delhi, Lt Gen (Retd) Andi M Ghalib during his four-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir explored the tourism and trade potential of the State. The United States Ambassador to New Delhi Timothy J.Roemer also made a trip in March here for “listening to the people and connecting with the youth of state.” In April, a two-member delegation from Australia led by the Australian High Commissioner to New Delhi, Brendan Hodgson assessed the latest political situation in the State. In the same month, the envoys of Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan participated in a religious conference here. Over a fortnight ago, the Foreign Minister of Iceland Ossur Skarphedinsson visited the Valley to explore the possibilities of geothermal energy in the State. Recently, the five member European Union delegation comprising Ambassador of European Union to India, Daniele Smadja, Ambassador of Ireland Kenneth Thompson, Ambassador of Belgium Pierre Vaesan, First Secretary EU Philipp Gross and Attache EU Anne Vaugier-Chatterge respectively is on the five day visit of State to assess the situation here. The frequent visits of envoys and foreign delegations have evoked mixed response from the different political quarters of the Valley. Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani said these visits have failed to make any difference on the ground. “The visits of foreign envoys have been mere time consuming exercises. They have failed to mitigate the sufferings of Kashmiris. It is the responsibility of the international community to resolve the Kashmir dispute according to the aspirations of its people. But the international interventions so far have failed to change the ground situation in Kashmir,” Geelani said. Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the Conglomerate has not been averse to initiation of trade and tourism links with the J&K. “But they (envoys) shouldn’t look at the things superficially and must help in addressing the root cause of the dispute. They shouldn’t construe normalization as end of the problem. It is not necessary that Kashmiris should take to streets and pelt stones every time to demand resolution of the dispute,” he said. The ruling National Conference Member Parliament of south Kashmir, Mehboob Beg said, “being a nuclear flashpoint, the world is worried over Kashmir issue. So the envoys make frequent trips to the State.” However, the Chief spokesman of Peoples Democratic Party Naeem Akther said, “the time for the study or interactions by foreign delegations on Kashmir is over. These delegations must take concrete measures for resolution of Kashmir.”


[Home] [Archives 2011]
Web site maintained by Md. Sadiq & Friends