Uri: A marriage filled with joy

Ceasefire is having a positive impact on the socioeconomic conditions along the border in the form of increased development
Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Last month a marriage ceremony took place in Silikote village along the Line of Control in Uri sector in northern Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The marriage has taken place with full rejoice after years together, as Silikote area falls close to the LoC and has been the worst hit due to cross-border shelling and firing.

Now there is no cross-border shelling since February 25, 2021, when India and Pakistan announced that they had begun observing a ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

Due to the frequent shelling and firing from across the border, most of the villagers have left the place and settled down in Uri town and its neighbouring areas like Lagama and Salamabad.

For civilians, firing and shelling incidents often resulted in casualties and fatalities; destruction of property and livestock; curfews and restrictions on movement, agriculture, and commercial activities; and impaired or no access to schools, hospitals, and other institutions.

The ceasefire has also had a positive impact on the socioeconomic conditions along the border in the form of increased development efforts, rise in workdays, and a respite from constant fear.

In the context of Jammu and Kashmir, a ceasefire is having a significant impact on border tourism. The region is known for its scenic beauty, rich cultural heritage, and adventure tourism opportunities, particularly Kashmir Valley.

Border tourism in Jammu and Kashmir refers to the growing trend of tourism activities in the border areas of the Jammu and Kashmir region, particularly along the Line of Control (LoC) that separates India and Pakistan.

The concept of border tourism was first introduced in Jammu and Kashmir in 2005 with the aim of promoting peace and harmony between the two countries. The government of India has been actively promoting border tourism in Kashmir to boost the local economy and to showcase the natural beauty and cultural heritage.

There is no doubt, on the other hand, that border tourism in Jammu and Kashmir is also associated with certain risks and challenges due to the sensitive nature of the region. Visitors are advised to obtain proper permits and follow safety guidelines while traveling in the border areas. The government has also put in place various security measures to ensure the safety of tourists.    The government has taken several initiatives to promote border tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.

The government has invested in the development of tourism infrastructure in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir to attract more tourists. This includes the construction of new hotels, guesthouses, and other accommodation facilities, as well as the development of road networks and other tourist facilities.

The government has been promoting adventure tourism, particularly in the Ladakh region, which is known for its scenic beauty and challenging terrain. Activities such as trekking, river rafting, and mountaineering are being promoted to attract adventure enthusiasts to the region.

The government is also focusing on promoting cultural tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, which has a rich history and cultural heritage. The government has taken steps to preserve and promote the local art, music, and dance forms, and is promoting cultural events and festivals to attract more tourists.

The government is actively promoting border tourism in Jammu and Kashmir through national and international marketing campaigns. 

Overall, the government is committed to promoting border tourism in Jammu and Kashmir as a means of promoting economic growth and promoting peace and harmony in the region.

One of border tourist spot is Keran in Kupwara district of northern Kashmir. It is a scenic village located on the banks Neelam River. It is considered an emerging tourist destination due to its breathtaking natural beauty, tranquil atmosphere, and rich cultural heritage. 

Keran is blessed with natural beauty in abundance. The village is surrounded by lush green forests, majestic mountains, and pristine rivers. The area is also home to a variety of flora and fauna, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

Keran is known for its rich cultural heritage, with a blend of Kashmiri culture. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and visitors can experience the local culture and traditions by interacting with them.

Keran offers a range of adventure activities for tourists, including trekking, hiking, fishing, and rafting. The River is a popular spot for rafting and fishing, while the surrounding mountains offer excellent opportunities for trekking and hiking.

Keran is easily accessible by road from Kupwara. The road journey to Keran is itself a scenic experience, with the road winding through beautiful valleys and mountain passes.

Keran offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is an ideal place for those seeking a break from the stress of daily life and looking to rejuvenate in a peaceful environment.

In recent years, the government has taken steps to promote Keran as a tourist destination by investing in tourism infrastructure and promoting the area through various marketing campaigns. With its natural beauty, rich culture, and adventure activities, Keran is poised to become a popular tourist destination in the coming years.

A ceasefire can have both positive and negative effects on border tourism. On the one hand, a ceasefire can lead to improved security and stability in the region, which can encourage more tourists to visit the border areas. This can be beneficial for the local economy, as tourism can create jobs and generate income for the local population. Moreover, a ceasefire can also provide an opportunity for cross-border cultural exchange, which can enhance mutual understanding and promote peace and harmony.

On the other hand, the threat of violence and instability along the border can discourage tourists from visiting the region, even during a ceasefire. Security concerns and the perception of danger can lead to a decline in tourist arrivals, which can negatively impact the local economy.

Furthermore, a ceasefire can also lead to a decrease in military activity along the border, which can limit the opportunities for adventure tourism, such as trekking and mountaineering. This can be a particular concern for those who visit the border areas specifically for adventure tourism.

Overall, while a ceasefire can potentially have a positive impact on border tourism, the extent of this impact depends on various factors, including the duration of the ceasefire, the level of security in the region, and the perception of safety among tourists.

(Author is senior staffer at Greater Kashmir)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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