India to allow tourists back into Kashmir

Frustration, anger and fear have been growing in Kashmir since Aug. 5, when the Hindu nationalist-led government of PM Narendra Modi stripped the region of its semi-autonomous status and imposed a curfew and a communications blackout. (AP)
Updated 08 October 2019

India to allow tourists back into Kashmir

  • The local government had instructed tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave on Aug. 2
  • Kashmir’s pristine mountainous landscape, ski resorts, lake houseboats and apple orchards have long made it a tourist attraction

NEW DELHI: Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir are allowing tourists back into the region two months after ordering them to leave, citing security concerns.
The local government had instructed tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave on Aug. 2, three days before India stripped the Muslim-majority region of its statehood and special semi-autonomous status.
The local government said in a statement Tuesday that the governor has decided after a security review to lift the restrictions on tourists, effective Thursday.
Kashmir’s pristine mountainous landscape, ski resorts, lake houseboats and apple orchards have long made it a tourist attraction.
India imposed a harsh security clampdown, cutting most communications and detaining thousands of people, after stripping the region of its special status.


US to announce 4,000-troop drawdown from Afghanistan: media

Updated 49 min 13 sec ago

US to announce 4,000-troop drawdown from Afghanistan: media

  • There are 13,000 US troops currently in Afghanistan
  • US President Donald Trump has previously indicated he wants to wind down US military entanglements abroad where possible

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration will announce as early as this week plans to withdraw around 4,000 troops from Afghanistan, US media reported.
Talks between the United States and the Taliban resumed a week ago as the parties sought a path to reduce violence or even reach a cease-fire.
They were paused by Washington on Thursday, however, after an attack by the militant group near a key US air base north of Kabul that left two civilians dead and dozens injured.
There are 13,000 US troops currently in Afghanistan.
NBC on Saturday cited three current and former US officials as saying the Trump administration intends to announce the drawdown of 4,000 troops from Afghanistan.
Two of those said some of the troops would be redeploying early, while others would not be replaced when they end their term.
CNN cited one official in the Trump administration as saying the announcement on a drawdown could happen this week, but that the “timing remains in flux.”
According to a draft agreement from September — reached after years of negotiations — the Taliban would be required to commit to certain security measures, agree to talks with the Afghan government and promise a reduction of violence in exchange for US troop withdrawal.
US President Donald Trump insisted last month on the need for a cease-fire and made a surprise visit to Bagram on November 28 to celebrate Thanksgiving with troops and meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Trump has previously indicated he wants to wind down US military entanglements abroad where possible.