SRINAGAR – Describing the lifting of an advisory which had dissuaded tourists from visiting Kashmir valley as “half hearted initiative”, the National Conference on Tuesday asked how can holiday makers venture into the Valley, reeling under a communication blockade and breakdown of economic activity.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday directed lifting of an over two-month-old advisory which had asked tourists to leave the Valley due to “terror threat”.
The governor directed withdrawal of the advisory with effect from October 10.
The advisory was issued on August 2, days before the issuance of the presidential order revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, negating the Article 370 of the Constitution.
How can tourists venture out to the Valley where they will remain cut off from their families and the rest of the world in absence of mobile telephony and internet — the basic modes of modern day communication?” asked an NC spokesperson in a statement.
He said the deprivation of telecommunication facilities has caused enormous difficulties to the Valley residents, who feel like having been pushed to the “stone age”.
“The closure of business establishments and breakdown of economic activity in Kashmir will come in the way of restoration of normalcy, as the people are feeling insecure,” he said.
“The sense of insecurity has hugely jeopardised the academics from primary to higher education level,” he added.
The spokesperson urged the state administration to “take earnest measures to instil a sense of confidence and security among people”, which could have encouraged parents to send their wards to educational institutions and those connected with trade and commerce resume their economic activities.
“Apart from providing some sort of respite to the locals, such initiatives would go a long way in restoration of tourism, the mainstay of people directly and indirectly,” he said.
The spokesman also lashed out at the PDP for its “uncalled for and mischievous observations” about the meeting of a Jammu delegation with party president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah, saying they cannot hoodwink public opinion.
Reacting to the NC leaders meeting with their detained party chief, some PDP leaders had reportedly insinuated that the meeting was a trap by the government.
“Apart from caring about the welfare of the Valley people as a whole and the detained leadership in general, the Jammu based National Conference leaders will remain with the people of Kashmir solidly and firmly,” he said.
He said the Jammu leadership has firmly expressed solidarity with the high command at this crucial juncture of history and will work to promote the party’s political philosophy of strengthening brotherhood, amity and inclusiveness.
Meanwhile, differences within the PDP camp over the issue of meeting their detained leader Mehbooba Mufti surfaced on Tuesday.
The party had announced on Sunday that a delegation would be visiting the detained party president, but they later deferred the visit without citing any reason.
Some PDP leaders in Jammu raised their objection over the proposed visit and said it is a trap by the government to portray that everything is normal and people are meeting Abdullah and Mehbooba.
“There will be nothing except a photo session when Farooq Abdullah waived hands during a visit by his party’s delegation from Jammu (on Sunday),” a PDP leader had said.