JAMMU (ONS) – British government has agreed to withdraw its negative travel advisory for its citizens wishing to visit Kashmir, an official spokesman said Tuesday.
He said the British decision followed persuasion by the chief minister, Omar Abdullah.
“Government of United Kingdom is shortly announcing lifting of the advisory against UK citizens traveling to Jammu and Srinagar and travel between these two cities on Jammu-Srinagar highway”, the spokesman said.
This has been indicated by British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan in a letter addressed to chief minister, Omar Abdullah, he said.
In his letter, Sir James writes, At our meeting in August, you asked me to consider whether the UKs travel advice covering Jammu and Kashmir should be reviewed in light of decline in violence. I have done so. The UK government will, therefore, be announcing shortly that the improvements in the security situation have led us to lift the advisory against UK citizens traveling to both the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, and travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
The British high commissioner expressed confidence the measure would encourage more UK tourists and businesses to visit the state, which should in turn benefit local economy.
Omar Abdullah has taken up this issue with other diplomatic missions as well which are expected to follow suit and lift their negative advice regarding traveling to Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
The initiative is likely to give considerable fillip to the inflow of foreign tourists to the Valley and other parts of the state in the next tourist season, the spokesman said, adding “the lifting of advisories by the foreign countries will also restore the visit of high end foreign tourists and flourish the business and trade in the state”.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.