KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians intending to travel to conflict-stricken Jammu-Kashmir in India have been advised to defer their tour.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said in view of the current situation, it was best to avoid the region.
“This is a serious issue and its best for Malaysians to keep away from there. We hope our citizens will also monitor the latest travel advisory by Wisma Putra and other authorities to ensure their safety,” said Tan.
He added that Jammu-Kashmir was not among the top ten destinations for Malaysians travelling overseas as tourists.
“We estimate about five per cent of the total outbound travel by Malaysians visiting that region, annually.
“Although it is not a significant impact on our travel and tour industry, the lives of our citizens are precious and they must take care to avoid high-risk areas,” said Tan.
Asked on Malaysians who are already in Jammu-Kashmir, Tan said: “I am sure that the logical thing to do is to seek assistance from the nearest Malaysian mission.”
Indian authorities had told tourists to leave Jammu-Kashmir because of terror threats, as media reports said 25,000 military reinforcements had been sent to the troubled Himalayan region.
The extra troops and other security measures, including a call to stockpile food and fuel, have shaken the Muslim-majority region which is also claimed by Pakistan.
Long lines of cars formed outside petrol stations while residents queued at food stores and bank cash machines to get emergency supplies.
The Jammu and Kashmir state governments said that because of intelligence inputs of terror threats against a huge Hindu pilgrimage and the prevailing security situation, pilgrims and tourists should leave immediately.