On overseas envoys’ desk: Some politics, artwork & pottery

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, February 17

Twentyfour foreign envoys who arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on a two-day visit got a flavour of the Valley today as they engaged with district development council (DDC) representatives, writers, potters and calligraphers among others.

The envoys from Asia, South America, Europe, Africa and some OIC member states, who will be leaving for Jammu tomorrow, wound up their day in Srinagar after an interaction with Kashmiri artisans and influencers.

Writer-poets were also present at the Dal Lake convention hall, where the engagement was arranged. The visiting ambassadors were seen taking interest in local arts and crafts with some even wondering why women in the Valley had not taken to pottery in a big way as in Europe.

Earlier today, the envoys visited Magam in Budgam district to speak to the winners of the recent DDC elections.

Foreign envoys have visited J&K twice in the past since the abrogation of Article 370. But today’s visit was the first since the conclusion of the DDC poll, which the BJP-led Centre has touted as a “fine example of grassroots democracy in J&K.”

The envoys received a traditional welcome at Magam and spoke with DDC chief Nazir Ahmad, who discussed with the visiting delegates the need for developmental works like power, roads, food and housing.

The visiting envoys later met the Mayor of Srinagar, chiefs of DDCs, block development councils and municipal councils from all parties. They also visited the Hazratbal shrine.

Sources said outreach to the OIC members was aimed at countering Pakistan’s propaganda on Kashmir.

Tomorrow the delegates will meet J&K L-G Manoj Sinha in Jammu.

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