|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Indian Kashmir Opens to Tourists, but Communication Blockade Continues

SRINAGAR, India – The idyllic Kashmir Valley opened to tourists on Thursday, over two months after the government’s travel advisory for the disputed region that is in the throes of a fresh turmoil due to the revocation of its semi-autonomous status.

However, the government’s ban on mobile phones and internet connectivity continues along with restrictions in parts of the valley that has been battling three decades of an anti-India armed rebellion.

The travel advisory was lifted after Governor Satya Pal Malik, a Central government appointee administering the region, directed the security department to revoke its Aug. 2 order “asking tourists to leave the valley.”

The advisory also forced thousands of Hindu pilgrims to make a hasty retreat before the end of an annual pilgrimage to a Himalayan cave shrine in south Kashmir.

It was issued in the thick of Kashmir’s tourist season, days before the government on Aug. 5 ended the Muslim-majority state’s special constitutional and bifurcated it into two centrally-administered union territories.

The move, which stripped Kashmir of the privilege of having its constitution, a separate flag, and limited self-governance, was preceded by a massive security lockdown.

An additional tens of thousands of troops were deployed in already one of the highest militarized regions in the world.

The revocation of the advisory has, however, cheered Kashmiris a little amid fears that the valley will have no visitors due to the turmoil.

“We don’t think anybody is going to visit here amid the ongoing communication blockade and a huge presence of (security) forces,” Ishtyaq Mir, manager of hotel Luxury in Srinagar, told EFE.

“How can you expect tourists in a black hole,” Mir said, referring to the so-called “information black hole” caused by the suspension of mobile phone and internet services.

Traders say the peak of Kashmir’s tourist season, from July to September, is already over.

“Our tourist season is already gone,” Athar Yamin, an office-bearer of Travel Agent Society of Kashmir, told EFE.

“There were more than 21,000 tourists and around 8,000 pilgrims in the valley when the advisory was issued. Since then, hotels and houseboats are running empty. All of us are fighting for survival,” Yamin said.

However, some traders were more apprehensive about the overall situation in the region.

Sadiq, a taxi driver who reveal6ed only his first name, told EFE that many issues needed to be addressed first before expecting tourists.

“We have thousands of people in jails, hundreds tortured and shops closed continuously,” Sadiq said.

He questioned why the communication blockade was not lifted and thousands of extra paramilitary troopers deployed across the valley called back if the situation is conducive for tourists to return.

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2019 © All rights reserved