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Victoria Schofield
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Kashmir prays for paradise restored

FT Weekend,  May 14, May 15 1994

Excerpt:

Mine was to be the first entry for 1994 in Gulam Butt’s visitors’ book. As I wrote my name, he predicted that my stay on his houseboat was a good omen. My last visit to Kashmir, in 1981, was long before the recent troubles started. As the owner of a fleet of eight de luxe houseboats, moored on Upper Dal Lake, Butt’s story was not unfamiliar. Since 1990, when activists began an armed struggle against the Indian government, the beautiful valley of Kashmir, with its 1,500 splendid wooden houseboats, has lacked a flow of tourists. Mostly, the houseboats lie empty.

[see also www.telegraph.co.uk for ‘Beauty behind the barbed wire’, 1 October 2005]

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