Guided IIOJK visit

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TO project that situation stands normal in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Indian government is once again resorting to a ploy to mislead the world community about the actual ground realities. According to the Indian media, a visit of foreign ambassadors including those from the European and the Gulf countries is being organized to the occupied valley this month.

Such tours to the besieged territory in the past have remained guided one as the envoys were never allowed to visit places of their choice or communicate freely with the ordinary people. It is because of this reason that certain European diplomats last year had rejected the Indian invitation for a visit to the valley, seeking instead the unfettered access to the Kashmiri people unescorted. The latest visit will be no different from the previous ones and as also stated by the Foreign Office is a smokescreen aimed at diverting the international attention from egregious human rights violations in IIOJK and creating a false impression of normalcy. The truth is that there is a blanket military siege in the occupied territory with all sorts of restrictions on the movement and communication of oppressed Kashmiri people ever since 5August 2019 when the territory was stripped of its special status.

Taking diplomats to meet a chosen few people in tiny enclaves of Srinagar and Jammu says more about the abnormality of the occupation than about how the situation is normal.  If India really believes that it has nothing to hide, then why it is not allowing the fact finding missions of the UN and the OIC visit the territory to assess the ground realities and ascertain the facts. The ambassadors invited for the visit must stand with the oppressed rather than the oppressor. They should link their visit with those by the UN and OIC fact finding missions as well as the international media.  There is a stark difference in the situation of Azad Kashmir and IOK. Azad Kashmir is open for all including the UN and OIC but IOK is a no go area for both the world bodies. Isn’t it adequate to understand India’s ugly face?