By Peter-Paul de Meijer
It is the ninth of January 2015 when the French police have surrounded a building in the northern town near Charles de Gaulle airport as part of a massive manhunt for the two men accused of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Awaiting our flight in one of Amsterdam Airports busy terminals we start to question the three week journey that lies ahead and the risks involved.
The state of Kashmir and Jammu has been a conflict zone for over 50 years, fought over by Indians and Pakistani, that started shortly after the independence of India. It has been the epicenter of three wars and it is not without a reason that former President of the US Bill Clinton declared it 'the most dangerous place in the world'.
Whilst applying for a visitor visa the Dutch embassy informed us multiple times about the travel warnings that are issued for the state of Kashmir explicitly stating that foreigners are 'particularly visible, vulnerable, and at risk' of terrorist operations and advised against all travel. The message from the insurance company was also very clear: "Should anything happen, we will not be able to help you."