‘India, Pak do not realise Kashmir’s value’

God made heaven and gifted it to us, but the man has turned it into hell. This was the viewpoint of families who recently got a chance to visit the paradise in pain — Kashmir. Sharing their experiences, they said they choose Kashmir as their holiday destination because at least once in their lifetime, they wanted to see the much-talked about place.

All families agreed that if the ugly and vicious political games had not been prevalent in Kashmir, the valley would have been the best tourist destination in the world.

One Mona Sapra said, "We were mesmerised by the natural beauty in Pahalgam and Patni Top, but as soon as we reached Srinagar, we were informed about the strike and stone-pelting that was going on. All markets were closed and we didn't even get food to eat. I cooked the food myself in the kitchen of a hotel. We left for Ludhiana the same night."

On being asked if they were scared before leaving for Kashmir, her husband Jatinder Sapra said, "We were confident because we were very well guided by our relative, Davinder Pasricha, who visits Kashmir often."

"People of Kashmir consider themselves Azad Kashmiris, who are neither a part of India nor Pakistan. They are so congenial and cooperative and truly respect their guests," said Mona. Another tourist Meenakshi Bansal, said, "I talked to many people over there like the taxi drivers, guides and hotel staffers. One of the taxi drivers said they were always ready to lay down their lives for India. But the dirty politics going on in the state completely ignored their condition and politicians never thought about them."

She added, "A common man of Kashmir is deeply angry with the politicians of both the countries, who are playing their "chair game" and crushing the sentiments of innocent citizens."

... contd.

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