Srinagar, Mar 28: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said that the country has left Kashmir alone. “If you look at the world, globally, everywhere there are problems par problem yeh hai ki humko hamare mulq ne bhi akela chor diya hai (the problem is that our country has left us alone). She was addressing the 64th Indian Travel Congress that held its gathering in Kashmir after 32 years, The Indian Express Reported.
Referring of the alienation felt in Kashmir, the Chief Minister stated, “There are many ways to deal with the situation in Kashmir but we are using only one measure — we are fighting guns with guns. However, someone has to treat those wounds that these guns cause as well, and the people of this country can do that”, The Report said.
Emphasising that tourism is an “investment in peace”, Mehbooba said that an army jawan fighting militancy in the state is one way of addressing the situation of Kashmir while another “is that you come to Kashmir”. She added that the diversity of Jammu & Kashmir is unmatched and while “we are placed like a crown on the map of India, the crown has lost its shine in the last few years”, The Indian Express Reported.
She also stated the people of the state are stuck in a difficult situation due to the Partition “that we had no part in”, The Report said.
More than 600 delegates from across the country representing the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) are in Kashmir for the three-day Travel Congress, The Report said.
Mehbooba said Kashmir is going through a difficult period but remains the “warmest place on earth and safest place for women”. She also said her government alone cannot provide the “healing touch” that is required to heal the wounds caused by guns in Kashmir and added that by coming to Kashmir, people can provide the necessary support. She said that the people dying from these bullets are “our police and army jawans or our local boys; we are riddled with these wounds”, The Indian Express Reported.
Over the past several years, summer in Kashmir has been marked by large-scale protests and shutdowns causing loss to business and the tourism sector. The Travel Congress is taking place at the beginning of spring in Kashmir and the Chief Minister expressed the hope that the travel season can extend well into summer, The Report said.
Criticising television channels, she said, “An encounter would be taking place somewhere far but on television, it would seem as if all of Kashmir is burning. This impacts tourism in Jammu, while Kashmir is obviously impacted”, The Report said.
State tourism minister and Mehbooba’s brother Tassaduq Mufti, who also addressed the inaugural event of the Travel Congress, said, “People often talk about perspectives but how do you change perspectives of the people who are watching national media in all corners of the country. My answer is that this is the start”, The Indian Express Reported.