Military Conflict in Ladhak: A blow to trekking, tourism

The J&K reorganization Act 2019 that granted union territory status to both Ladhak and as well as Jammu & Kashmir is no longer proving a good omen for the people of Ladhak as the Chinese military incursions changing Ladhak in a more deadly conflict zone than Kashmir valley has blown up the future of tourism and trekking in Ladhak. As experience of last 30 years of militancy show that armed conflicts damage and destroy even the world’s prime tourist destinations like Kashmir, the Chinese military incursions would by all probabilities now also reduce the arrival of tourists and trekkers in Ladhak region. Famous more for trekking than tourism, the Chinese military stand off has changed Ladhak region into a military conflict zone the time when the tourism and trekking season was about to commence. The plans of the centre to fast pace the infrastructural development in Ladakh region has been worst hit by the Chinese military incursions which if not thwarted well would make Ladhak vulnerable to peace like Kashmir. A single miscalculated decision on J&K reorganization has thrown up a much bigger security challenge in Ladhak than the militancy in Kashmir as carrying out even the normal developmental activity in the presence of a military threat on the borders in Ladhak is also a big challenge for the central government.
A single miscalculated decision on J&K reorganization and a single off the track remark of the Home Minister Amit Shah on Aksai Chin has attracted a huge military provocation from China which has not only thrown up a challenge to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity but also to the tourism and trekking a viable tool of economic progress and prosperity for the people in Ladhak region.
Irrefutable fact is that the statement of Home Minister Amit Shah over his government’s promise to reclaim Aksai Chin from China during his address to the parliament at the time of tabling J&K reorganization act in the house in August last year was by all standards an unnecessary and unwanted provocation. Such provocative statements are not less than a challenge for the other country and better it would have been for the Home Minister of the country to refrain from such provocative statements in the larger national interests. To reclaim the part of Galwan valley reportedly occupied by China, the only option left with the Narendra Modi led NDA government at the centre is a sustained diplomatic engagement with China as military confrontation could inflict more heavy damages on the civilian populations and army facilities in Ladhak. A single miscalculated decision on J&K reorganization and a single off the track remark of the Home Minister Amit Shah on Aksai Chin has attracted a huge military provocation from China which has not only thrown up a challenge to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity but also to the tourism and trekking a viable tool of economic progress and prosperity for the people in Ladhak region.

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