Ahead of the planned visit of the third batch of foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir this week, Pakistan on Monday sought to portray the move as an effort by India to mislead the world community.
The external affairs ministry is taking a group of ambassadors and senior diplomats, mainly from European countries, to the Kashmir Valley and Jammu as a continuation of the process that began early last year and was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity.
The envoys are expected to be in the Kashmir Valley on February 17, before travelling to Jammu the following day. As with the two groups of envoys that visited the region in January and February 2020, the third batch is expected to interact with grassroots political leaders, members of civil society groups and businessmen.
In a statement issued in Islamabad, Pakistan’s Foreign Office described the planned visit by the diplomats as part of India’s efforts to “mislead the world community”.
“Such guided tours are a smokescreen, aimed at diverting international attention from India’s egregious human rights violations in [Jammu and Kashmir] and creating a false impression of ‘normalcy’,” the statement said.
There was no immediate response from Indian officials to the statement