The Bold Voice of J&K

Tourism replacing terrorism in Kashmir

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Omkar Dattatray

The winds of change are brewing in Jammu and Kashmir as positive and encouraging things are taking place as the tourism is replacing terrorism .It is a welcome development that Jammu and Kashmir is transforming from terrorism into tourism .The calls of strikes ,hartals ,bands as well as stone pelting are the things of past and is now a history .There is spectacular change in the UT so far as influx of tourists is concerned .The terrorism is being replaced with tourism and there is transformation from terrorism to tourism. The development is taking place and the businesses are opening and employment opportunities are increasing and there is an atmosphere of peace ,security ,economic development and large tourist arrival which is adding to the local economy of Jammu and Kashmir .There are no strike calls and the people yarn for peace and development .There is great tourist footfall in Jammu and Kashmir due to return of peace and development as the tourist arrivals are increasing day by day and adding to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir .The UT is witnessing large and unprecedented tourist arrival due to improvement in peace and security and the tourist arrival in large numbers is a sign and symbol of peace security and positive change for better in J &K and it points towards the fact that terrorism is declining and is being replaced with tourism as there is big transformation from terrorism to tourism in Jammu and Kashmir thanks to the nullification of controversial article 370 as the UT is on move and marches on the path of peace ,security and development. The killings and violence is slowing down and the graph of killings h as substantially slowing down and this is very encouraging development .Tourists both domestic and foreign are coming in lacks and this is in no way a mean development but it is very extra-ordinary in the history of Jammu and Kashmir .Terrorism is replaced by tourism and the fact is that tourists are visiting in very big numbers and they are the ambassadors of change and peace .J&K is under transformation as there is a sea change in the situation as terrorism and militancy is on wane and dwindling and this augurs well for the UT and its people .People are heaving a siege of relief and they favour change and transformation of J&K from terrorism to tourism .The common Kashmiris favor change and are for development .There is discernable change in situation and the days of the closure of schools ,colleges and universities ,business establishments on the calls of strikes at the behest of Pakistan is a thing of past and is buried in the land and all this is enough to conclude that there is a marked improvement in the ground level situation in Jammu and Kashmir .Some attribute this improvement in peace ,security and development to the repeal of article 370 in August 2019.Whatever be the reason and cause of peace ,what matters most is that peace and tranquility is fast returning the UT and the people are benefitted by this change and development .Much of the development and increase in the incomes of the people can be attributed to the large influx and tourist footfall as the tourism has revolutionized the economy of the UT .All people connected directly and indirectly with tourism industry have been benefitted by tourism as tourists in very large numbers are visiting Jammu and Kashmir and bettering the fate of the people associated with tourist industry .There has been a substantial increase in number of tourists visiting the valley with 1.88 crore tourists in the last year and expectation of over 2 crore tourists in the current year .The transformation of Jammu and Kashmir from a terrorist hotspot to tourist hotspot is a big achievement and this has been possible due to the concerted and planned efforts of the government both centre and LG administration .The repeal of article 370 in 2019 was a big blow to the separatists and militants and the cumulative effect of this historical development led to the improvement in overall situations of Jammu and Kashmir and the people stand greatly benefitted .All this change has become possible by the efforts of the security forces and the determination of Modi government .The operations against hawala operators are being meticulously planned and executed to choke the finances of the terrorists resulting in a big blow to militants and separatists .The cooperation and collaboration of various security agencies and the local police led to the improvement in the ground situation and this would not have been possible without the active involvement of the local police .Due to improvement in the overall situation and peace returning to the UT ,tourists in very large numbers are visiting the valley and this is the testimony that peace and normalcy is fast returning to Jammu and Kashmir and the people are benefitted with peace ,development and influx of the tourists. The fact that tourists are coming in unprecedented manners points towards the fact that peace and normalcy is fast returning to UT and terrorism has receded and is more or less absent .All this change has become possible due to the efforts and cooperation of different security agencies .Therefore all the security agencies including the Jammu and Kashmir police are worthy of commendation and praise for having fought militancy with determination .The governments stress on the promoting tourism and big investment on the tourist infrastructure and tourist destinations have yielded results as there is big tourist footfall in J&K thanks to the sustained efforts of the centre and UT government. Due to this Jammu and Kashmir has seen unprecedented rush of tourists. LG Monaj Sinha said that foreign tourist footfall in Jammu and Kashmir increased by 350% after the G20 summit held in May in Srinagar. Notable efforts, including hosting major events to showcase the J&K’s tourist potential ,peace ,and infrastructure development have transformed the UT remarkably. People have favored the initiatives of the centre and UT government of developing the tourist infrastructure and other initiatives aimed at the development of Jammu and Kashmir. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the other day while addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership conclave at Delhi said that Jammu and Kashmir has moved from the terrorist hub to tourist hub as there has been discernable change so for as the normalcy and peace is concerned. He also said it rightly that tourism is replacing terrorism in the UT and this is really a welcome development and should be encouraged.

(The author is a columnist, social and KP activist).

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