New Delhi: India recently took a batch of foreign envoys to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Of the 24 envoys, the largest group of 9 envoys were from Europe but British High Commissioner Alexander Ellis did not participate in this visit. The remaining envoys were from Finland, France, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
India was keen to see the British High commission join the visit. While the UK did not participate, they were aware of the visit being organized by the Indian govt. Delhi is closely working with authorities to find the best opportunity for the UK high commission to visit the union territory soon.
They made this move even after a number of voices have been keen on seeing the developments in Jammu and Kashmir. A visit by British HC could have been beneficial to determine the situation in Kashmir. In light of the recent district development council elections, 4G internet services have been resumed.
January saw a discussion on Kashmir in the British Parliament, with Minister of Asia Nigel Adams retreating the official policy, that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. He said,”We continue to believe that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the situation”.
On the removal of special status, he pointed, “There have been recent elections to the District Development Council… the first to take place since the revocation of article 370” and welcomed the relaxation of restrictions.
Interestingly, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan has visited Altit fort in Hunza valley, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan occupied Kashmir in October of last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sustainable Tourism in can create jobs & support local communities; as well as preserve heritage & the environment. Baltit & Altit Forts rivals for Windsor & Edinburgh castles? Cc @pakistanjannat c pic.twitter.com/8zZgsMQC5Z
— Christian Turner (@CTurnerFCDO) October 8, 2020
His key focus was boosting tourism in the area, but also, awarding Scottish scholarship to women in Gilgit
Last week’s visit was the 3rd such visit organized by the Ministry of External Affairs in the last year to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The first two visits happened in January and February of 2020. The visits are aimed to showcase the ground situation after India removed the special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.