Mushtaq Chaya demands revocation of ban order

Srinagar, Apr 4: Prominent Kashmir businessman and hotelier Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya on Thursday demanded the immediate revocation of the government order banning the movement of civilian traffic for two days every week on the Kashmir highway.
In a statement, Chaya wondered how the government could issue such an order which curtails the fundamental rights of the people in Kashmir. “How could the government issue such an unreasonable order?” asked Chaya, who is chairman PHDCCI Kashmir and hoteliers’ club.
Chaya said the ban will not only cut the valley from rest of the world but also bring untold miseries to the local populace which is already under so much distress.
“On one hand they are talking about bringing tourists to the Kashmir valley and the other they are passing such ‘Israeli-style’ orders,” rued Chaya. “What is the message that the government wants to convey?”
Chaya said that a delegation of tourism stakeholders are visiting the valley in next few days to take stock of the situation. “What will they make out of the situation here when you block the roads for the civilian traffic?” he asked.
Appealing the government to immediately withdraw the order, Chaya asked the authorities to look for an alternative arrangement for the movement of forces’ personnel.
According to the order issued on Wednesday by state Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra, no civilian traffic will be allowed to move from Baramulla in north Kashmir to Udhampur in Jammu region on Sundays and Wednesdays till May 31.
The restrictions on civilian traffic on the 271-km highway will remain in force from 4 am to 5 pm, said the order, which follows the suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama. The highway passes through important towns such as Anantnag, Awantipora, Pampore, Srinagar, Pattan and Baramulla.