Tourists and passengers wait for their trains as they prepare to leave from Jammu Railway Station (Photo Source: PTI)
Amidst the prevailing uncertainty and tensions in the Kashmir Valley, the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany have issued a fresh travel advisory for its citizens, asking them not to travel to the militancy-hit state. The development comes in the view of "unpredictable violence, including bombings, grenade attacks, shootings and kidnapping" in the Valley.
In a statement, the UK's foreign office said, "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of (i) travel within the city Jammu, (ii) travel by air to the city of Jammu, (iii) travel within the region of Ladakh".
It further 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. The tourist destination of Palgham, Gulmarg and Sonamarg fall within the areas to which the FCO advise againat all travel, it added.
"Travelers staying in Kashmir (especially the Kashmir Valley and the Armanath Yatra Pilgrimage Route) are advised to leave Jammu and Kashmir," the advisory issued by the German ministry of foreign affairs read.
Panic and rumours were triggered across the Valley with the Centre taking a flurry of initiatives over the last few weeks. In less than a week, Centre decided to additional 38,000 troops to the Kashmir Valley in two batches - 10,000 and 28,000.
The unrest in the region has further intensified in the wake of Jammu and Kashmir authorities last night issuing an advisory, asking tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to cut short their stay citing security threats. The advisory follows an Army warning that said Pakistan-based terrorists were planning to target the Amarnath Yatra.
Though Governor Satya Pal Malik has tried to quell the assumptions, many fears that the developments were part of an 'effort' to repeal Articles 370 and 35A.
The purpose of the travel advisory is to provide information and advice to citizens of the respetive country before they plan foreign travel to different destinations around the world. The country-wise guide, available online, is kept under constant review to be updated in light to developing incidents or threats in a particular region around the world.