Foreign envoys interact with 'West Pak refugees', Gujjars laud abrogation of Art 370

Foreign envoys interact with 'West Pak refugees', Gujjars laud abrogation of Art 370

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 10: The visiting envoys of different countries on visit to Jammu and Kashmir were on Friday briefed among others by a group of 'West Pakistan refugees' - mostly Hindus, sources in the BJP said here.

The delegation which includes US envoy Ken Juster and ambassadors from South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Fiji, Maldives, Norway, Philippines, Morocco, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Guyana and Togo also interacted with representatives from Gujjar community and Valmiki Samaj in Jammu.

These communities have 'benefited' from the government's decision to abrogate Article 370 and Article 35(A), sources said here.

The communities such as 'Gujjar-Bakarwals' feel they have been 'liberated' from the clutches of earlier system which forced them to live in misery and subjugation.

The envoys have been told that since Article 370 that guaranteed special status to the 'erstwhile state' has been removed, a number of seats would be also reserved for these communities in the new Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir - which now has a Union Territory status.

The BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have stated in last few months that status of J&K from 'UT' would be upgraded to statehood after the situation normalises.

In media briefing on Thursday, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters that the objective of the visit was for the envoys to see firsthand, the efforts made by the government to normalise the situation and also to see how things have progressed. (UNI)