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Promoting Peace And Stability

Border tourism is emerging as a significant development in Kashmir
03:00 AM Jul 11, 2024 IST | SHABIR IBN YUSUF
promoting peace and stability
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Kashmir has long been renowned for its picturesque destinations such as Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg. However, recent developments have shifted the spotlight towards areas near the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan.


The guns have fallen silent along the LoC, allowing the government of Jammu and Kashmir, in collaboration with the tourism department, to open up these previously inaccessible areas to tourists.


The opening of border areas in Kashmir marks a significant milestone in Kashmir's tourism landscape. With peace prevailing along the LoC, tourists now have the opportunity to explore these serene and scenic destinations, while the local economy benefits from the resulting growth. As the government and tourism department continue to develop infrastructure and promote these areas, the future looks promising for both the people of Kashmir and the tourists eager to experience its beauty.


Residents living along the LoC, who have endured decades of conflict and uncertainty, are now experiencing a much-desired peace. With this newfound tranquility, they are eager to welcome tourists from across India and the world. North Kashmir's Keran, Gurez, Tangdhar, Machil, and Bangus have been added to the valley's list of tourist attractions, offering unique experiences that blend natural beauty with a touch of history and geopolitics.


The Government have been promoting the border areas. The ecology is being  maintained.  It was very difficult to come to these places a few years ago, but after the abrogation of Article 370, the Government has opened border areas, and tourists are loving it. Tourism is the backbone of the valley, and this will help in building the economy of these areas. The response has been fantastic, people are so excited.


The tourism department has laid out comprehensive plans to develop infrastructure in these areas while ensuring environmental preservation. This initiative aims to provide employment and generate economic opportunities for local residents.


Keran, for instance, is emerging as a very important tourist destination among the bordering areas open for tourists. The Government is trying to provide the necessary infrastructure. Visitors are applying for an e-pass, and within 24 hours, they get the pass to visit. The biggest gain is for the locals. Tourism is providing provide employment, helping in building infrastructure, and boost the local economy.


These border areas, with their breathtaking views of hills and rivers, are being promoted as adventure tourism destinations. One unique aspect of visiting these places is the chance to see and even wave at people across the border, creating an intriguing and surreal experience for visitors.

Since some last years Kashmir has been witnessing record-breaking tourist arrivals. Major tourist destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg have been fully booked for most of the season. The government believes that promoting these newly accessible sites will help accommodate the influx of tourists visiting the Kashmir Valley.

When there used to be ceasefire violations, people used to run for our lives. It’s so peaceful now. Nothing happened in the last 70 years, but in some years, things have changed drastically.

Roads are better, water and electricity is better. The Indian Army has played a crucial role in opening border areas to the public. They manage the entire security system in these regions, ensuring the safety of both locals and tourists. The army's efforts extend beyond security, as they actively promote these areas as tourist destinations. Locals acknowledge that without the Indian Army's support, welcoming tourists to these areas would not have been possible.

Border tourism in Kashmir is emerging as a significant development in the region, transforming previously restricted and conflict-ridden areas into thriving tourist destinations. With the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan experiencing over years of peace, the Jammu and Kashmir government, in collaboration with the tourism department, has opened several border areas to tourists. This initiative holds immense importance for both the local population and the broader region.

Tourism demands infrastructure, and the push to develop border areas as tourist destinations has led to improved roads, better water and electricity supply, and enhanced communication networks. These developments not only make the region more attractive to tourists but also improve the quality of life for local residents. Enhanced infrastructure fosters further economic growth and encourages investment in the region.

Border tourism plays a crucial role in promoting peace and stability. The very act of opening these areas to tourists is a testament to the prevailing peace along the LoC. The increased interaction between locals and tourists fosters mutual understanding and breaks down barriers of fear and mistrust. Moreover, the economic benefits derived from tourism provide a powerful incentive for maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Tourists visiting border areas get a unique opportunity to learn about the local culture, traditions, and way of life. This cultural exchange enriches the visitors' experience and promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of the region's heritage. For the local population, interacting with tourists from different parts of the country and the world can be enlightening and empowering, fostering a sense of pride and cultural identity.

Border areas in Kashmir offer breathtaking landscapes, from majestic hills and serene rivers to lush green valleys. These regions are being promoted as adventure tourism destinations, attracting enthusiasts eager to explore uncharted territories. The unique experience of seeing and even waving at people across the border adds an exciting and surreal element to the visit, making it a memorable adventure for many tourists.

The importance of border tourism in Kashmir extends far beyond economic gains. It is a powerful tool for fostering peace, promoting cultural exchange, and improving the quality of life for local residents. As the region continues to open up and develop its tourism infrastructure, the benefits will only grow, making border tourism a cornerstone of Kashmir's future prosperity. The transformation of these areas into thriving tourist destinations is a testament to the resilience and potential of the region, offering hope and opportunity for a brighter future.

(The author senior staffer Greater Kashmir)