India working closely with UK to arrange Jammu and Kashmir visit for envoy Alexander Ellis

India working closely with UK to arrange Jammu and Kashmir visit for envoy Alexander Ellis

Last week, India took a batch of 24 foreign envoys to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Though the largest group of 9 envoys among the 24 envoys were from Europe, but British High Commissioner Alexander Ellis did not participate in this visit. India was looking forward to the visit of British High commission.

British High Commissioner Alexander Ellis.

UK was aware of the visit being conducted by the Indian government, however it did not participate. India was very keen to host the British commission hence Delhi is now closely working with authorities to find the best opportunity for the UK high commission to visit the union territory soon.

This move by them came even after a number of voices within UK have been keen on seeing the developments in Jammu and Kashmir. British HC visit could have been better determine the situation on the ground in Kashmir. This comes in the backdrop of recent district development council elections and resumption of 4G internet services.

In January, a discussion was conducted on Kashmir in the British Parliament. Minister of Asia Nigel Adams retreated the official policy and said that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

Minister of Asia Nigel Adams.

Adams said, “We continue to believe that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the situation.”

Adams also talked about the removal of special status and said, “There have been recent elections to the District Development Council… the first to take place since the revocation of article 370.” He also welcomed the relaxation of restrictions.

Amid the pandemic in October last year, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan visited Altit fort in Hunza valley, Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

His focus was on boosting the tourism of the area and awarding Scottish scholarship to women in Gilgit.

The 24 envoy visit recently was the 3rd such visit in the last year to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.  The visits were organised by the Ministry of External Affairs. The first visit was in January and the second was in February of 2020. These visits are being conducted to showcase the ground situation of Jammu and Kashmir, after India removed its  special status.

 

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