The recent G20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir has given foreign dignitaries and observers a good opportunity to witness a change in the Union Territory since the abrogation of Article 370, Federico Giuliani wrote in Inside Over, an Italian-based news website.
The three-day G20 meetings in Srinagar were concluded on Wednesday where various foreign dignitaries came and took a tour of the city.
According to the publication, the full integration of J-K with the rest of the country appears to have proven beneficial.
Earlier, in 2022, Kashmir recorded 18.4 million tourists, the highest in past seven decades. The number of tourists from foreign countries too touched 20,000-figure. All this indicates normalcy has returned to the region, which is now almost free from militancy.
Kashmir is peaceful now and witnessing different kinds of development activities. The commoners appear to be freed from the clutches of extremism, violence, and propaganda. India's neighbouring countries Pakistan and China had warned of unrest and violence in Kashmir, however, things took a positive turn.
Michael Rubin, a senior fellow with Washington-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said he witnessed optimism and growing confidence in Indian-controlled Kashmir, reported Inside Over.
He visited both parts of Kashmir--one under the jurisdiction of India and the other of Pakistan. "While Kashmiris under Pakistani control remain hobbled by a moribund economy and suppressed by Jamaat-e-Islami extremism, Kashmiris in India have security, taste freedom, and thrive," Rubin said.
Farooq Wani, a political analyst from J-K, said the progress in development activities was visible now.
Premier Health and technological institutions, youth skilling centres, and sport training centres are being established in Kashmir as the cancellation of the special status of J-K in 2019 allowed smooth funding and implementation.
The people of Kashmir responded positively to the steps taken by the government. J-K showed an "incremental" performance in Sustainable Development Goals of good health and well-being of people (India Index 2020-21). There has been momentum in business and commerce activities, which is reflected in a 30 per cent increase in tax collection in just one year. The youth is coming up with successful start-up ideas, which are set to fuel economic growth in the region, as per the report in Inside Over.
The government of India has been offering incentives to attract foreign investment in J-K. The Kashmir Conclave is held in the US annually where discussions are held on how to bring comprehensive development in Kashmir, which focuses on investment in agriculture, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Carmen Montana, Mayor of California's Milpitas City has assured support in establishing fruitful partnerships with businesses in J-K. Dubai's Emaar group is set to make an investment of USD 60 million in Kashmir, which is expected to generate 7,000-8,000 job opportunities, according to Inside Over.
Kashmiris welcomed the G20 meetings which will boost the tourism and business sector in Kashmir. (ANI)