Development work in J-K was discussed with foreign diplomats, says Budgam's DDC Chairman

BUDGAM: Nazir Ahmad Khan, the DDC Chairman of Budgam district on Wednesday said that the issues of development were discussed with the group of 24 foreign envoys, who are on a two-day visit to the Union Territory.

“It’s been a month since we assumed our posts and we received the opportunity to interact with a foreign delegation. We interacted about our development schemes, work done and work which remains to be done,” Nazir Khan told ANI .

When asked what all issues were discussed, Khan said, “the discussions revolved around development work only. We held talks mainly on roti (food), kapda (cloth), makaan (house), sadak (road), bijli (electricity) and paani (water) because the region is poor and lacks literacy.”

The envoys also interacted with Srinagar Mayor, DDC chairpersons, chairpersons of Block Development Councils and Municipal Council from all parties.

On the first day of their visit, the foreign diplomats interacted with locals in the Magam block of Budgam district, as part of their two-day visit to the Union Territory. French envoy Emmanuel Lenain and Italian envoy Vincenzo de Luca were seen talking to the locals in Magam block.

After the diplomats landed in the Union Territory today, they were accorded a traditional welcome by the DDC Chairman, and other panchayat representatives.

The foreign envoys were briefed on Panchayati Raj and grievance redressal through Back to villages and Block, thus elaborating how the administration reaches the doorstep of people.

Foreign diplomats from Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the European Union are on the visit.

The latest visit of foreign envoys comes in the backdrop of District Development Council polls, which saw huge participation and restoration of 4G mobile internet in the entire region after 18 months, which many see as a return of full normalcy in the Union Territory.

This will be the first visit by foreign diplomats to Jammu and Kashmir since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two batches of foreign diplomats had earlier visited J-K in January and February last year after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

Sources told ANI that some elements, who are working against Jammu and Kashmir’s progress and restoration of normalcy, have been giving calls of a shutdown during the visit of envoys. Last year, similar visits took place in the month of January and February.