Ceasefire Pact: Gurez Valley Hopes for Tourism

Kashmir Magazine

Despite being a home of constant fear and being target of consistent shelling, Gurez valley of North kashmir’s Bandipora District is witnessing a hope-ray of tourism after the fresh ceasefire pact between two countries.

Gurez, a scenic valley which had been a death trap for being a target of constant shelling on the Line of Control, now becoming a destination for tourists both local and national due to the recent ceasefire pact between the two countries.

Number of tourists are finding solace in visiting the Gurez valley after the recent upholding of ceasefire agreement.

Tourist from Gujrat who is on 7 day trip to Kashmir while talking to kashmir News Service Said that “we were aware that there was no restriction on visiting the Gurez valley but the fear of ceasefire violation is what was making us apprehensive about such an adventure”.

Shabir Magrey, who runs a shop in main market of Dawer Gurez said that the tourism department should shift their focus to this place now. “Despite being such a beautiful place, the destination lacks all the basic facilities. We demand this place should be promoted so that national and International tourists will visit the place”.

He also said that if this spot is developed it will bring peace and tourism to this border area and in fact many will get job opportunities.
“Peace and tourism are the need of the hour for the people living at LoC. We are the worst sufferers and have to bear the brunt of the cross-border skirmishes always”, he added.

The government should create better facilities here.The roads are not in good condition.These should be developed, said a local.
Data available with Kashmir News Service reveals that since the opening of Bandipora-Gurez road this year, 85% out of the total who visited Gurez are locals and 15% are national tourists.

Pertinently, in February this year, India and Pakistan signed an agreement announcing to maintain peace along the LoC in J&K. The decision has brought much needed relief in the lives of the residents living close to the LoC villages.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Dr Owais Ahmad said that a good strategy is being adopted for the development of Gurez tourist destination as it has great potential for eco-tourism.

“We’re constantly trying to promote the place which will give tourists myriad experiences of the countryside while helping locals living in the area economically,” he said.

He also said that the potential ecotourism activities will attract different type of visitors and tourists in Gurez.

“The administration is upgrading all the tourist huts including TRC and Dak-Banglow in Gurez so that the tourists do not face any problem while staying there,” Owais added.

The snow-capped mountains, endless meadows, sparkling streams, Gurez is located on the line of control (LoC) witnesses’ heavy snowfall during the winter season and remains cut off from the rest of the valley for more than six months due to the closure of Bandipora-Gurez road.