what is the current political situation and how accessible is the area for tourists?
Christopher, have a look at a previous similar question here:
Your government, the UK and the Australian governments all advise against travel to Kashmir except Ladakh and to Leh but only by air. The y all say pretty much the same thing, but the Australian advice is the most succinct, it says:
Jammu and Kashmir: We advise you not to travel to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (north India), other than to the Ladakh region via Manali, or by air to the region’s main city of Leh, due to frequent armed clashes, terrorist activities and violent demonstrations. Attacks have targeted tourists and tourist buses. Foreigners have been kidnapped in Kashmir."
If you do decide to go you'll need to be extremely cautious, take every possible precaution and be prepared for anything. But be aware, because all these governments advise against travel you may find your travel insurance policy won't cover you, so if you get into trouble or heaven forbid get injured in an incident you could be organising your own medical evacuation and paying the bill yourself.
It's up to you to decide if you're up to the challenge and to assess your own acceptable level of risk, but , no, I would not call Kashmir 'safe'. It is very dangerous and volatile.
Summer is the worst time for random acts of violence. almost 7 years ago