Srinagar: Jammu & Kashmir People’s Movement led by former IAS topper turned politician, Shah Faesal, has taken strong exception to a government order banning civilian movement on key Kashmir highways in view of the ongoing Amarnath yatra.
While we welcome the yatris with our heart and soul, this order by the traffic department is simply a kind of apartheid law. Nowhere in the world are local populations held hostage to the movement of pilgrims”, Shehla Rashid, JKPM General Secretary said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Traders, students and patients are suffering massively due to this illogical order. Fruit and other goods worth crores are rotting on the highways, causing unimaginable damage to the local economy, Shehla said.
She objected to the use of the word convoy to describe vehicles of devotees. It is strange that the traffic department’s order uses the word convoy to describe pilgrim vehicles. By doing so, the traffic department is covertly trying to pass this off as a national security concern”, she said.
“Let us assure the world that Kashmiri civilians are no threat to the yatris, and that the yatra is facilitated by the locals and nobody else. It is only the locals who know how to navigate the yatra track and the weather conditions. No yatra would have been possible without the support of locals. Now, all of a sudden, the traffic department is trying to act as if this is the first time that Amarnath yatra is being held!, said Shehla Rashid.
JKPM urged the state government to revoke this order immediately. The safety of our guests is our prime concern. It is the job of the state government to find a solution that does not affect the local population. As Kashmiris, we have time and again demonstrated their hospitality. Even when Kashmiri students were being hounded out of hostels, post-Pulwama attack, the local traders as well as common people demonstrated high ethical standards by offering free boarding and lodging to stranded tourists. This is how we are paid back! We urge the governor administration to immediately revoke this order and stop portraying Kashmiris as the enemies of yatris Shehla Rashid said.