ZOJILA, KASHMIR, INDIA - JANUARY 6: A Kashmiri laborer removes black ice from a slippery highway  on the Srinagar-Leh highway on January 6, 2023 in Zojila, 108 km (67 miles, east of Srinagar, Indian administered Kashmir, India. The vital Zojila pass on the Srinagar-Leh national highway, which connects the Kashmir valley with the Ladakh region, remained open this year throughout December and January, an Indian defence spokesperson said. The pass connects Kashmir with Ladakh, a region known for its monasteries, landscapes, and mountains among foreign tourists. Travelers using the pass must contend with snowstorms and hazardous conditions. Due to heavy snowfall at Zojila, one of the treacherous mountain passes in the Kashmir region, the strategic road remains closed for the winter months. The highway connects Srinagar with Ladakh and is the only road for the movement of Indian armed forces and people from Srinagar to the cold desert region. The road is the lifeline for the Indian Army and locals. The highway has strategic importance and is used by the Army to replenish supplies to troops stationed at the international border in the Ladakh region. Strategically important Ladakh shares de facto borders with Pakistan and China and depends on air supplies for about six months of the year as the road connectivity remains snapped due to the accumulation of heavy snow on it. (Photo by Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)