During the normalcy, we would do brisk business as many tourists used to come and enjoy this place peacefully. We should be let to live with peace like before. We don’t want violence and our only concern is peace. Our concern is neither Pakistan, India or China. We only want to earn our livelihood. Our women fear to go out. Who are they scared of? Fear of armed forces which have been laid all across the streets. The Indian nation is itself in tatters, but they are spending their might over occupying us. India should look into its condition first. We are proud of our Kashmir when our living conditions are much better than Indians. I have just bought this boat on loan, shall I clear my debts or feed my family? A handful of tourists who still visit this valley can’t venture out, all because of the presence of government forces. When I am not secure, I don’t have facilities, I don’t have commodities which I have to provide as far as my menu is concerned. How can I tell a tourist to come and enjoy the Kashmir.
A tourist can’t go up to Pahalgam. Can he go to Pahalgam? who will allow him? The tourism is totally gone for this year. We don’t talk about this year. The basic issue of Kashmir, which is pending for last 70 years, should be resolved amicably. Then we can talk about tourism, nature etc. The unrest flares up now every year. Every Shikarawala, houseboat and hotel owners go out of the state to promote Kashmir but on returning they see the same mess. The Kashmir issue must be solved once and for all between India and Pakistan by including Kashmiris in talks. Kashmiris should be allowed to live with peace. The tourists too can come without any fear then. Whenever the situation gets bad here, tourism is the first causality. We did suffer losses but the loss of lives or blinding of youth is far greater than any monetary loss. We would again try to revive this sector once the situation normalizes.
We wish to see the Kashmir issue solved this time only so that the situation does not turn ugly again in the next year. Even if we lose our everything we will never leave Kashmir as this is our homeland. We are not inimical towards anybody, we are just seeking peace and justice.