The Jammu and Kashmir government today opened various unexplored areas in its Leh district for foreigners, a year after it did the same for the local visitors. This initiative taken by the Home Department in Jammu will now allow foreign tourists to visit areas like Panamik, Phukpochey, Hargam, Taksha, Sasoma, Chaglung, Kobet, Aranu, Khemi, Warshi, including Yarma Gompa/ Yarma Gonbo Monastery of the Nubra Valley in Leh district.
The Home Department of the state believes that by letting foreign visitors explore the Nurba valley and other areas with breathtaking scenic beauties, will open opportunities of employment and income generation for local youths of Kashmir.
The tourism sector in the Kashmir has suffered a loss of at least Rs 3000 crore due to the on going unrest in the valley. Massive unrest erupted in the state after the Indian Army, in an encounter, killed Burhan Wani, a Hizbul mujahideen militant. Thousands of local Kashmiris protested following the death of the militant leader and at least 70 were killed in the clash between the police and the army.
Tourism across the border in Kashmir had been badly affected by frequent cross-border terrorist attacks in recent times. Economy of the state, through tourism, also fell after India carried out surgical strikes along the Line of Control in Pakistan, destroying several terrorist launch pads and killing at least 38 terrorists. The surgical strikes by India came as a response to the Uri terror attack in Kashmir, where four heavily armed terrorists attacked the army base along the LoC in Uri, claiming the lives of 18 Indian Army jawans.
The decision of opening various unexplored areas in Leh, taken by the Home Department of the valley, is clearly an initiative to normalize the present situation of tension in the state. Ladakh has, over the years, emerged as the prime tourist spot of the valley and by the latest decision, the state government believes that the economy of the region will steeply rise helping the local Kashmiris to generate more economy for a better living.