Kashmir Indepth

“Avoid all travel to Jammu and Kashmir”: UK, Germany warn citizens

The United Kingdom and Germany on Saturday asked their citizens to avoid all travel to Jammu and Kashmir.

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

The move come a day after the government asked tourists and Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourist to “immediately” cut short their stay and return, in an advisory.
“There is a risk of unpredictable violence, including bombings, grenade attacks, shootings and kidnapping,” the British foreign office said, advising against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exceptions of travel by air to Jammu and within the city, and within the region of Ladakh.

Listing out the recent terror attacks in Kashmir, Britain advised against “all but essential travel to the city of Srinagar and travel between the cities of Jammu and Srinagar on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway”, and also advised against travel to the tourist destinations of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonmarg. “If you’re in Jammu and Kashmir, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and keep up to date with developments, including via this travel advice,” the advisory said.
“Travelers staying in Kashmir (especially the Kashmir Valley and the Amaranath Yatra Pilgrimage Route) are advised to leave Jammu and Kashmir,” the German ministry of foreign affairs said.

The advisory has left tourists scrambling to get air tickets, leading to confusion at the Srinagar airport as they rushed there.

Several airlines have decided to give full fee waiver on rescheduling or cancellation of flights to and from Srinagar till August 15, when the Amarnath Yatra was supposed to end.
The Jammu and Kashmir tourism department sent buses sent buses on Friday, immediately after the advisory was issued, to different tourist destinations to bring the tourists back to Srinagar, the department’s chief said.

The centre’s advisory is seen as an unprecedented move as pilgrims and tourists have never before, even at the height of militancy, been urged to leave Kashmir, which has seen a massive build-up of troops over the past week.

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