Zuv' chumm' bramhaan'
Ghar' gachaa

Jul 11, 2006

More attacks on Tourists...And a conspiracy theory...

Four blasts rock Srinagar, 4 killed

How naive are the tourists...? How do these folks make plans to spend summer in
this place with their families, without caring a damn to at the newspapers? Is Indian middle class really so gullible and naive - that people would fall for "all is hunky dory" messages from Kashmir politicians or get trapped by some lucrative cheap deals from travel agents.

Come on! Doesn’t a tourist care to check on a place - a place which is well known for all the dance of death going on there for last 16 years...

I personally dont agree even with my fellow Kashmiri Pandits visiting the valley just to make a quick darshan at Khirbawani or just to relive their memories of the motherland. But then at least Kashmiri Pandits have an emotional bond - with the valley. I wouldn't probably mind dying either on the soil I was born in.

But what drives a Gujju or a bong tourist to go there and risk his life, along with that of his family - that too go in a chartered bus with a GJ-xxxx number plate. Beats me!

Having been the sole Kashmiri almost all the time at my workplace, I often get asked this question by colleagues - "How safe is it to visit Kashmir? Can I go there for my honeymoon?"...
Earlier I used to straightaway tell them - that they would be mad to do so.
Lately, people come back with follow up questions - "My friend's friend went recently to Patnitop" or "My relative stayed in Dal Gate and nothing happened to them"... I don’t know if they read these news items at all.

Recently a very senior person in my org, on a visit from US office, had been to Srinagar as well - just days after the last May31st attacks. He shared an interesting news bit.

Local folks in the valley had reasoned the attacks as -"The Himachal tourism industry got a huge boom when Srinagar tourism went down in 90's... but the revival of tourism in Kashmir
is hitting the Himachal industry hard now. So its the Himachali tourism lobbies which have paid the jihadi's to cause these disruptions - so that the tourists again opt for Himachal".

Sounds like an interesting theory - my only concern is - all along these people
were giving us to believe that the armed struggle was for self-determination
and freedom and all those hallowed ideals. Local politicians and Hurriyat have condemned these attacks and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has alluded to the same conspiracy theory as well - but who are they condemning ? The very jihadi's they invited into the valley.

Are they admitting finally that the jihadi’s are nothing but "for-hire mercenaries" ? Mercenaries who came in earlier funded by petro dollars from ISI to implement a religious agenda; and are now looking for newer means of revenue generation.

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