With peace prevailing along the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border (IB) following the renewed ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan, the Indian Army and the BSF have gradually opened some forward posts for tourists with the aim to boost the economy of these areas.
The Army recently allowed tourists to drive right up to the base camp of the Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh where the civil administration is pressing for opening Daulat Baig Oldie in Leh and the Mushkoh valley in Kargil for tourists.
Tourists in Ladakh have also been permitted to visit Turtuk, the northernmost village of India, which was liberated from the illegal occupation of Pakistan by the Indian Army during the 1971 war. Turtuk that was part of Gilgit-Baltistan has a unique culture and lifestyle that fascinates tourists.
The Kaman Post in North Kashmir’s Uri Sector has been refurbished and opened for tourists to view the last point on the LOC.
Northern Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi on Friday visited the Kaman Post, the first Indian Army post on the National Highway 44 and inspected the recent development measures undertaken to promote Kaman as a tourist centre, under Border tourism initiative.
The Army Commander also interacted with Ex-servicemen and local population residing in villages of LoC and accentuated the need for continuous efforts to uplift the quality of life of the local population. He felicitated Veer Naaris as a token of respect and recognised work of new emerging role models from the local surroundings, who have done credible work in various fields such as hospitality, literature and social service.
Kaman Aman Setu is the bridge that connects India to Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) and was opened for the cross-LoC bus service. The bridge connects the divided families from both the countries and has become a symbol of peace.
The gate of Kaman Aman Setu has not opened for many years as the Government suspended the Srinagar Muzaffarabad Bus service as the trade facility was being misused to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs from Pakistan.
The initiative has been taken to boost the economy of these areas and help the youngsters in these border villages with jobs and business opportunities.
Suchetgarh octroi post in Ranbirsinghpura of Jammu has become a favourite spot for tourists after the BSF opened the place for visitors. The octroi post in Jammu during the pre-partition era was the gateway to Sialkot that is now in Pakistan.
Tourists make a beeline to Suchetgarh where they are allowed to walk up to the zero-line and take selfies with the Pakistani border post in the background. This has helped in economic gains for residents of the area who have opened tea shops and eateries near the IB.