Trade, Tourism Badly Hit In Kashmir23 October 2010
Srinagar: Four months since unrest erupted in Kashmir, normality is yet to return to the Valley. Life was affected in the Valley on Saturday following a strike call given by the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference. Shops and business establishments remained closed and there was very thin attendance in government offices. A police spokesman said curfew was completely lifted from the Valley on Saturday but strict restrictions remained in force in many places. Curfew has crippled life in many parts, particularly Srinagar downtown, Sopore, Palhalan and Pattan, as they remained under curfew for most of the time during this period. Even as the government has been claiming that Kashmir is returning to normality, the life of the common man has become difficult. “Life in Kashmir is miserable and it has led to many changes in the way of life,” says Tariq Ahmad a sociologist. With the examination season coming schools have opened, but fear continues to stalk students. Experts say the Valley faced a whopping loss of over Rs. 12,000 crore in the past four months as businesses were badly affected. Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir president Shakeel Qalander said: “This is the worst time for the business community. I do not think we can recover,” he said.