Washington | Jagran News Desk: Days after a group of 16 foreign envoys, including US Ambassador, visited Jammu and Kashmir to get a first-hand account of the situation in the Valley, the US State Department once again expressed concern over the continued detention of political leaders and restrictions on internet in the state.

On Saturday, the US State Department's bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) in a tweet said that it is closely following the visit of the 16 foreign envoys to the Valley. It also expressed hope for return of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Closely following US Ambassador to India and other foreign diplomats' recent trip to Jammu and Kashmir. Important step," the bureau of SCA said in a tweet.

"We remain concerned by detention of political leaders and residents, and Internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy. AGW," it said in the tweet.

The bureau tweeted on behalf of Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, who will be travelling to South Asia next week.

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The statement from the US State Department comes days after a group of 16 foreign envoys visited Jammu and Kashmir to get the first-hand efforts being made by the government in the Valley.

The foreign envoys interacted with select political representatives, civil society members as well as military top brass with the Indian government rejecting criticism that it was a "guided tour".

"The diplomats got to see first-hand the efforts that have been made by the government to normalise the situation," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar earlier.

India had imposed several restrictions, including internet ban, in Jammu and Kashmir after it revoked Article 370 from the state and bifurcated it into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma