The recent spurt in militant attacks in Anantnag and Pampore has raised some hard questions for Mehbooba Mufti especially after the significant victory in the bypolls. And this Saturday attack at Pampore is the third in as many weeks on security forces in the State. In February, five security personnel were killed in Pampore after a 48 hours gun battle when terrorists had holed up in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute. Against the backdrop of these terror attacks Chief Minister asserting that violence was hurting the State’s economic interests, with tourism being the biggest casualty, and sought the support of the people in maintaining peace is the reality. She noted that tourism is directly linked to economic revival and Jammu and Kashmir has been gifted by the God with breathtaking scenic beauty and water resources which need to be harnessed judiciously for tourism promotion. Her comments assume significance as these came against the backdrop of terror attack on CRPF bus in Pampore on Saturday. But she has made it clear that government would not allow vandalising of these new resorts as “has, unfortunately, happened” with some of the most cherished tourist destinations in the State. We will allow only development of eco-friendly infrastructure at the upcoming tourist destinations like Tosamaidan, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Mughal Road and Bangus Valley and develop local economic stakes in tourism promotion, she had said. Mehbooba needs to hit the ground running to tackle the militancy that’s rising again, even among educated youth. Both Anantnag and Pampore are part of south Kashmir, which has become the new hub of militancy in the Valley. Another disturbing sign is the thronging of large crowds at the funerals of militants. Containing militancy must top her agenda – it hurts the tourism industry which forms the backbone of Kashmir’s economy and it imperils the security of the citizenry. Unlike most politicians in the State, Mehbooba remains a grassroot leader and is credited with building the PDP organisation singlehandedly across the Valley. With a decisive mandate and a friendly government at the Centre, she is in a good position to turn around the State’s fortunes.