Gurez (Bandipora): Asserting that the situation was absolutely peaceful in this border town in north Kashmir district of Bandipora due to the ceasefire pact with the neighbouring country, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps Lt General D P Pandey on Wednesday said that he was happy to see tourists enjoying the virgin beauty of this place.
The Army commander also appealed to people from across the country to come and enjoy the beauty of Gurez.
“Gurez is absolutely peaceful. Especially with the ceasefire being evoked, the people of the border villages have got long required peace. They are able to carry routine activities without any fear or constraints. Life has become normal here,” Lt Gen Pandey told reporters on the sideline of a function of National Cadet Corps (NCC) here on Wednesday.
The Army commander said that he was very impressed to see the large number of tourists in Gurez. “Tourists from Kashmir and other parts of the country were found to be camping and enjoying the virgin beauty of Gurez,” he said.
“I was posted in Gurez in 1998 and 2000… It (Gurez) is possibly one of the most beautiful places on earth and one of the best minded people in the world. People in Gurez are very nice and humble. They look after anybody who comes from outside. People from across the country should come and enjoy the beauty of Gurez. They should come and visit the legendary Haba Khatun mountain which has a great history and story related to Kashmir,” he said.
Answering a question about promotion of the tourism sector in this border town, he said tourism is a part of civil administration and the responsibility of the Army is to provide peace and stability so that people can roam around remote areas without any militant activities. “…I think that we are achieving… and with the support of the civil society and with the assistance of the people of our country and from Kashmir we will be able to ensure that prosperity comes… men and women can live the way they want to live as a part of modern society,” he added.
He said that NCC is a platform that brings children from different regions and backgrounds together and enables them to think pluralistically. “The children start to live amongst different communities. So this is very important… we try to nurture the issue of this aspect of discipline… larger construct of people living together rather than saying that we are unique and we should be left alone… that kind of thought should go away. We are part of a larger society and we should live like this,” he added.