For the residents of Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the peace and tranquility along the Line of Control remained evasive for a long period but the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan made the year 2021 a remarkable one for them.
The prevalent peace along the LoC has generated hope among the locals who had been the worst victims of skirmishes between India and Pakistan.
Following a peaceful year, locals here, for the first time in three decades of turmoil, have started advocating for ‘border tourism’.
Muhammad Akram of Nambla village of Uri said that after witnessing scores of people becoming victims in cross-border shelling and properties worth crores of rupees destroyed, the ceasefire agreement had finally ended the pain and agony of the locals.
“The year 2021 has been a glorious one for the people residing along LoC. It is after three decades that people of this area are freely venturing out and visiting places of tourism potential. For us, current peace is like infusing a new life to the tormented souls,” Akram said.
Praying for permanent peace along the LoC, a visibly emotional Fayaz Ahmad said that his sister Tahira Bano was injured in a ceasefire violation two years back.
He said that the incident left the entire family in distress and pain as she remained bed-ridden for a long time and could not stand up for more than a year.
“We know the importance of peace. The absence of peace brought misery to the people of this area from time to time. Some persons were maimed forever while others lost their only bread earners. The prevailing peace has generated new hope among the locals here. They believe that if peace will continue, the area will witness change on the socio-economic front,” Ahmad said.
As the entire year 2021 remained peaceful for the locals, residents here now wish to have the area on the tourist map.
The area has some wonderful places which, if promoted for tourism, could change the dynamics of the region.
Locals here believe that apart from having a tremendous potential for border tourism, the area can also be explored for religious tourism as it boasted of some revered shrines of Sufi saints.
Besides, in Nambla village, there is one of the highest waterfalls of the region locally known as Khunjri Waterfall located in the Rustum area.
The waterfall emanates from Kaandi Glacier located in the upper forest area that receives around 20-feet of snow during the winter.