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Separatists want Delhi to restrict Tel Aviv in Jammu and Kashmir

All of a sudden everybody in separatist circles seems to be talking about Tel Aviv in Kashmir. For most of the happenings, they presume, New Delhi is importing Israeli software to manage Kashmir.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 06, 2012, 08.33 PM IST
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SRINAGAR: All of a sudden everybody in separatist circles seems to be talking about Tel Aviv in Kashmir. For most of the happenings, they presume, New Delhi is importing Israeli software to manage Kashmir. It started with the aging hawk Syed Ali Geelani and now even the moderates seem to be on the same page.

Last month a tourism planner said they will be sending a delegation to Tel Aviv to attract tourists. The second issue that got linked to Israel was the “transit accommodations” that was created for Kashmiri Pandits willing to return home. Separatists see a Tel Aviv pattern in this as such type of settlements exist in West Bank and Gaza. The last and the latest development was the seizure of certain properties under unlawful activities act that resonated as the new Israeli plan.

On Friday a group of females was protesting in Srinagar’s so called press enclave shouting slogans: ‘Isreali Policy, Nahin Challaygi’. They were seeking restoration of a small house belonging to separatist Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sopori in a Srinagar suburb that police seized last week.

For a number of Kashmiris, Israel has remained a phantom in India’s counter-insurgency. From considering Tel Aviv’s proposals on altering the demography of Kashmir to importing the software for fighting fugitives and the hardware for the fence on the LoC, Israel has actually lived in Kashmir for a long time. So when Director Tourism said he is flying to Tel Aviv, it set the tongues wagging.

Kashmir separatists are not aware that the Israel was the main country wherefrom most of the foreign backpackers would emanate at the peak of militancy, when nobody was coming to Kashmir. A militant attack in 1991 should have reduced their numbers but it worked inversely as their numbers increased.

Erstwhile outfit Pasdaran-e-Inquilab-e-Islami (PDI) raided houseboats in the night of June 26, 1991 and kidnapped eight tourists including seven Israelis. One tourist and a militant were killed as remaining were later ‘rescued’ by other militant outfit and set free. The attack increased the arrivals from Tel Aviv to Kashmir and Ladakh. Right now Leh is a major destination for Israeli tourists and Kashmir gets just a fraction of it.

But the separatists see a conspiracy in the limited arrivals. “Government should explain why it is encouraging Israelis to visit Kashmir,” peacenik cleric Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said from the pulpits of Jamia Majid. “Muslims all over the world have problem with Israel due to its aggressive policy towards Palestine.”

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