New Delhi: After a fresh visit to the Valley, the European Union (EU) called for an early removal of the existing sanctions in Jammu and Kashmir and underlined the “positive steps” initiated by the central government to restore normalcy in the region. The European Union’s remarks come a day after a group of 25 foreign envoys completed a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. The visit was undertaken to take stock of the situation in six months after the Center removed the special status of the state.
In the month of August, the status of the special state which was given to Jammu and Kashmir was abolished. At the same time it was divided into two union territories Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.
EU spokesperson Virginie Battu-Henrikson said on Friday that the visit confirmed that the Indian government had taken positive steps to restore normalcy. There are some restrictions, especially on the Internet and mobile services and some leaders are still in custody. She said that we understand the serious security concerns, but it is important that the remaining restrictions are swiftly lifted. The spokesperson said the visit provided a welcome opportunity to see the ground situation and interact with local interlocutors in Jammu and Kashmir.
She said, “We are keen to continue talks with India on the state of the region.” The yatra was organized by the government to help foreign envoys know the status of the Union Territory.
The EU spokesperson said the program included talks with civil and military officials, some political representatives as well as some representatives from civil society and the business community. Last month, the government took 15 messengers to Jammu and Kashmir but European countries refused to be part of it.