MALAYSIANS intending to travel to troubled Jammu and 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 it’s best for Malaysians to stay away."

“We hope our citizens will monitor the latest travel advisory by Wisma Putra and other authorities to ensure their safety.”

He said Jammu and Kashmir was not among the top 10 destinations for Malaysian travellers.

“We estimate about five per cent of the total outbound travel by Malaysians visiting that region annually."

“Although it is notasignificant impact on our travel and tour industry, the lives of our citizens are precious and they must take care to avoid high-risk areas.”

On Malaysians who were already in Jammu and Kashmir, Tan said the logical thing to do was to seek assistance from the nearest Malaysian mission.

Indian authorities told tourists to leave Jammu and Kashmir because of terror threats.Media reports said 25,000 military reinforcements had been sent to the troubled Himalayan region following the revocation of the region’s autonomous status.

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 government said because of intelligence on terror threats to a huge Hindu pilgrimage and the prevailing security situation, pilgrims and tourists should leave immediately.

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced a resolution in Parliament abrogating Article 370 of the constitution giving autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.

The notification signed by President Ram Nath Kovind bifurcated the state into two federally-administered territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Ladakh will not have a legislature, but Jammu and Kashmir will be given an assembly, albeit with drastically curtailed power compared with what the state enjoyed under its historic special status.

The government lifted a ban on property purchases by non-residents, making it possible for Indians to invest and settle there.

The issue is expected to cause problems with Pakistan, which also claims Kashmir.