Valley worried tension may hit tourism

Valley worried tension may hit tourism

By NOOR-UL-QAMRAIN | SRINAGAR | 19 January, 2013
Separatist leaders too are unhappy with the border clashes.

People in the Kashmir Valley are worried that any conflict like situation along the India Pakistan border will hurt trade and tourism adversely. In the past two years, tourism has seen a turnaround and cross-border trade has surged. "Friendship between India and Pakistan is the only hope for our survival," said Ghulam Mohammed, who is associated with tourism. In Poonch, trade across the Line of Control has been suspended. Uncertainty is looming on trade activities in Uri as well. Separatist leaders too are unhappy with the border clashes. Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat, said that whatever was gained in the past eight years to resolve all issues has been wasted. When asked about his recent visit to Pakistan, Mirwaiz said that it was part of confidence building measures (CBMs) to find a common ground for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He said that the only way to de-escalate the tension at the Line of Control was through the demilitarisation of the Valley. He said that the Hurriyat was ready to be the bridge for friendship between the two countries. Hardline Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that the border hostility and Pakistan's internal turmoil would have a direct impact on the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He claimed that international forces were trying to destabilise Pakistan and India was trying to weaken Pakistan further.

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