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Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol the picturesque Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir

Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol the picturesque Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. Once a tourist hotspot, the only visitors to this magnificent landscape these days are Indian soldiers. Photo by Ami Vitale

Ami Vitale is an American photographer based in Montana. She has worked in more than 75 countries and is a contract photographer with National Geographic. Her work has been recognized by World Press Photo, a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award, Lucie Awards, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting, and Pictures of the Year International's Magazine Photographer of the Year.

"I made this image in 2003 in the disputed Indian-controlled state of Kashmir, the site of a long-standing proxy war between India and Pakistan.

"Kashmir was once a tourism center, and these boats, called shikaras, are traditionally meant for tourists, couples, and honeymooners. But nowadays these symbols of new beginnings are sometimes used by Indian border control officers to patrol for militia members and hunt insurgents."