EU confirms India's positive efforts to restore normalcy in Kashmir

Security personnel patrol in Lal Chowk area during the Republic Day parade happening at Sher-i-Kashmir cricket Stadium in Srinagar

New Delhi: The European Union (EU) on Friday acknowledged New Delhi's efforts to restore normalcy in Kashmir following the nullification of Article 370, while sharing its feedback with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.

In an interaction with the NSA, all the 25 foreign envoys, including that of the EU, who visited Kashmir two days ago, shared their review and experiences from the trip.

The group had gone to assess the situation following the reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir into a Union Territory and revocation of its special status on August 5 last year.

Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the EU ambassador to India along with some other envoys of EU member states held meetings with the civil and military authorities, some political representatives, as well as selected representatives of the civil society and the business community.

"The visit confirmed that the government of India has taken positive steps to restore normalcy," she said.

The acknowledgment of the Narendra Modi-led government's efforts comes just weeks after the EU Parliament attempted to pass a resolution against India on Kashmir at the behest of a Pakistan backed member.

However, the EU spokesperson added that some restrictions remain, notably on internet access and mobile services, and some political leaders are still in detention.

"While we recognise the serious security concerns, it is important that the remaining restrictions be lifted swiftly. The visit presented a welcome opportunity to see the situation on the ground and to interact with local interlocutors. We look forward to continuing dialogue with India on the situation in the region," she said.

The group of diplomats told the NSA that it was very appreciative of India's efforts to restore normalcy in Kashmir and their trip was very useful for gaining first hand experience of the ground situation.

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