Srinagar, January 10 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, as the Kashmir Valley remains under military lockdown on 159th consecutive day, today, India is trying to mislead the world about the ground situation by arranging a controlled two-day tour of the foreign envoys based in New Delhi.

Local residents, political analysts and leaders of occupied Kashmir have termed the tour as meaningless, “orchestrated” and “curated”.

Sidiq Wahid, a political analyst and academician, told media that “such delegations have no credibility”. “The government in Delhi is trying to seek legitimacy for itself. And from a Kashmir point of view, there is so little credibility for such delegations. Why do you need delegations? Why can’t just people come freely? The expectations of Kashmiris is very low. We (Kashmiris) continue to struggle,” he said.

Sajjad Ahmed Mir, a shopkeeper in Srinagar, said, if the Indian government is sure about normalcy returning to Kashmir, it should have allowed the foreign delegates free access to meet the common people. The Indian government invited only those people to meet the foreign envoys who are favourable to it, he said.

Rameez Ahmed Mir, a 33-year-old engineer, said that he had no hopes of anything concrete coming out of this visit. “These people come here like the last delegation from Europe. They eat good food, stay in luxury hotels and enjoy the joy rides in the lakes. They hardly question India on its oppression in Kashmir. So, we have no hopes that they will speak for us.” He said, “Had India been a real democracy it would have given access to international human rights groups and foreign journalists.”

Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former puppet Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, in a media interview said, “I would again say that it is a curated visit. All roads leading to Taj and Grand Palace hotels in Srinagar were blocked.”

“By doing this, what are they (Indian rulers) going to hide?” she said while raising questions on the way the envoys’ tour was conducted. “If it (government) has guts, let them go and meet Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. Why are they not allowing the foreign envoys to meet these leaders?” she asked.

The President of Indian National Congress in occupied Kashmir, G A Mir, questioned the way the tour was conducted, especially when three former Chief Ministers and scores of other political leaders and activists were under detention since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, last year.

The President of Awami National Conference, Khalida Shah, in a statement in Srinagar said, “All this is to showcase to the world that all is well in Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370. What a tragedy and what a pity!” She termed the visit of foreign envoys to occupied Kashmir as “orchestrated”.

The National Conference in a statement said, “In a repeat of the visit of the European Members of Parliament, the envoys have been brought here on a guided tour, where access has been severely limited to those handpicked individuals who will toe the government line.”

On the other hand, India’s opposition parties are also criticising the government for not taking its own citizens, including top political parties, to visit Kashmir and hold dialogue with the people of the territory.

It is to mention here that diplomats from European Union countries dropped out of the visit as they wanted to reach out to their contacts on the ground and visit various areas freely.

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