Jamaat wants 'dress code' for tourists to India Kashmir

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Tourists cool down at a fountain in KashmirImage source, AFP
Image caption,
The Kashmir Valley has seen a record number of tourists this year

A hardline religious group in Indian-administered Kashmir has demanded that tourists visiting the Muslim-majority Valley follow a "proper dress code".

The Jamaat-e-Islami said that visitors, specially foreigners, should "dress properly and respect the local ethos".

Kashmir was a popular tourist destination until 1989 when a separatist insurgency began.

The region has already seen a record number of tourists this year following a decline in violence recently.

"Some tourists, mostly foreigners, are seen wandering in short mini-skirts and other objectionable dresses," Zahid Ali, the spokesperson for Jamaat-e-Islami, said.

"We are not forcing them to wear Islamic dresses. We just want them to follow our local traditions," he added.

The group wants the state's tourism department to issue guidelines for tourists to respect local sensibilities.

The state government has not yet responded to the call.

Officials say nearly two million tourists, most of them Indians, are expected to visit the Himalayan Valley this summer and autumn.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir since an armed rebellion erupted in 1989, but violence has seen a decline since last year, opening up once again the popular destination for tourists.

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