Wednesday, November 11, 2009

“Heaven on Earth” Omar’s slogan for tourism in J&K

*Foreign tourists invited to visit the State

*Intellectuals, people of London, appreciate Omar’s view initiative

Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah today immediately after reaching London visited Jammu and Kashmir stall in London Exhibition and also addressed seminar organized by International reputed organization Pacific Asia Travel Writers Association (PATWA) in London.

The well known personalities, intellectuals, writers, tour operators and social organizations participated in the seminar, besides Kumari Shelija, Union Tourism Minister, the Tourism Minister, J&K State, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister of State for Tourism, Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani, Secretary Tourism, Mrs. Tanveer Jehan, Director Tourism Mr. Farooq Ahmad Shah were also present along with Chief Minister of J&K State. There was maximum participation of youth of London in the seminar who view Omar Abdullah as the Icon of young generation of the world.

The Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah also visited the stall of J&K State in LondonJammu and Kashmir State and erase the impression which has been created world over that valley of Kashmir is not safe for the tourists of the world. exhibition, aimed to attract tourists to

The Chief Minister while addressing the seminar said that world should again look towards the J&K Statevalley of Kashmir as their favourite tourist destination like they considered it in the past. He said that the pages of history are full of description, how travelers, intellectuals, writers and tourists visited the valley during past century and highlighted the beauty of not only of valley of Kashmir but entire J&K State before the world. He said that no doubt set-backs have been received by tourist industry in the valley during last two decades as a result of which lakhs of people associated with tourist industry were deprived of their livelihood. However, during recent past and particularly after taking over the reigns of the State, he personally initiated such steps which have proved helpful in restoring the confidence of tourists of the world for visiting the State including Kashmir valley. He said that people of Kashmir have all along since times immemorial track record of their great hospitality and providing all kinds of respect to the visiting guests and on no occasion this strong character of Kashmir was broken. particularly the

He said no doubt because of turmoil, people were not able to visit the valley but now flow of foreign tourists is increasing day by day. He said that recent successful visit of 22 Ambassadors and High Commissioners to the valley and their free movement in all tourists destinations of the valley is clear proof of the same.

Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah informed the august gathering in London that tourist infrastructure of the State particularly of the valley has not only been restored back but new destinations have been developed. He said large number of tourist development authorities have been established in order to develop the new tourist destinations in all provinces of the State.

While referring the potential of tourism in the valley, Mr. Omar Abdullah said that the whole world is unanimous of the fact that the valley is heaven on the earth and every individual has inherent urge to visit this heaven. He said that now this heaven is open for all so that they visit it as per their own convenience and timing. He said efforts are being made to make this place round the year tourist destination. He said not only early spring, summer or autumn is worth visiting the heaven but Gulmarg is vivid example that tourists can enjoy skiing on the high clefts and snow during winter as well.

Mr. Abdullah while addressing PATWA, the tourists travel agents of the world and other intellectuals asked them to encourage the visit of tourists to our State so that it will not only prove beneficial for individual tourists but mutual love will be strengthened and age-old relationships are restored back. He said that answer to present turmoil which is witnessed in different parts of the world is only when people of different places make determined efforts to strengthen people to people relationship which will help peace to prevail throughout the world and people will understand benefits of mutual love and brotherhood.

The Tourism Ministers of Venezuela, Jamaica and Malaysia also addressed the seminar.

Nomad Gujjars advised against vacation of land Nomad Gujjars advised against vacation of land

Rehabilitation of 25 evicated families demanded

Various Gujjar Organizations of Jammu and Kashmir today advised the nomadic community not to vacate lands under their possession till the state rehabilitates them in a lawful manner. Interacting with 25 evicted families of the Gujjars who had forcibly dispossessed from the forest land adjoining Devak bridge near Vijaypur yesterday, the leaders of different organizations impressed upon all the heads of nomads “Dera’s” not succumb to any pressure what so ever to leave their land. The leaders urged the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to intervene in the matter and restore the land in favour of displaced families of Nomadic Gujjars without any delay. “In J&K more than 95% of “nomadic Gujjars” are landless, shelter less and are denied of dwelling rights on forest lands which they are using as traditional inhabitants for centuries together” said Dr. Javaid Rahi, National Secretary of Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation a premier organization of Gujjars. Dr. Rahi said implementation of Forest Right Act can only redress the "historical injustice" committed against Gujjars- the major dwellers and conservators of forests Due to the presence article 370 this Act can not be extend directly to J&K without a legislation and impressed upon state government to issue an SRO immediately in this regard so as to provide rights on forests to dwelling communities over the land and other resources, denied to them over decades, Dr. Javaid Rahi further said. Mohammad Anwar Chowdhary State president of Gujjars United Front a frontal organization said we are demanding similar rights on Forests, constitutionally been made available to other scheduled tribe communities in Indian states after enactment of Forest Rights Act 2006. He said in whole country under forest act all the tribals groups are enjoying four types of rights on forests — title rights that grant ownership to land being farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of four hectares; rights to use minor forest produce, grazing areas and pastoral routes; relief and development rights, which include rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement and to basic amenities subject to restrictions for forest protection; and forest management right but the ST communities here are denied the rights in J&K which is unjust and unfair. He threatens to move to Supreme court of India to get justice for community. Meanwhile a delegation of Gujjars under the chairmanship of Haji Shamsher Ali Boken, State President of Jammu Kashmir Gujjar Bakerwal Joint Forum met various high officials, Ministers and urged them to intervene and demanded immediate restoration of piece of land to nomad Gujjars of Vijay Pur.