PUNE : Kashmir Valley was not facing any problem at present and what the Kashmiri people needed was an empathetic “understanding”, social activist from Kashmir, Vijay Dhar has said.
“There is no problem in Kashmir now. Terrorism in the State was fought by Kashmiri women and not by the army. The problem is only in a few minds whose mindset has not changed,” he observed after being felicitated at the ‘Heritage of Kashmir’ cultural festival organised here by social organisation ‘Sarhad’ last night.
Dhar, who was honoured by Pune university Vice Chancellor Vasudev Gade, said “There is no problem in the State but if problem is created then there is no solution,” adding that no tourist visiting the Valley had been harmed in the last ten years.
He said Kashmiris are “enterprising” people and lauded the role of ‘Sarhad’ in supporting the youths from the State in making them self-reliant.
Gade said the Pune university was willing to contribute to the development of educational institutions in Kashmir with its expertise.
Renowned filmmaker from Jammu and Kashmir, Bashir Badgami and noted theatre personality M K Raina, too, were felicitated at the festival.
On the occasion, Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhat said wealth and property of a nation were meaningless if there was no “bonding of hearts,” adding that common people and women combated terrorism in Kashmir.
Raina, who praised work of Sanjay Nahar of ‘Sarhad’, said Pune was the first city that helped in educational rehabilitation of youths from the Valley.
Talat Parvez, director, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism, said it was heartening to see the ‘Heritage of Kashmir’ festival being organised at Shanwar Wada, a historical monument of the Peshwa era in Maharashtra.
The highlights of the festival included ‘Band Pather’, a cultural programme of traditional folk dance and music which enthralled the audience.
A telefilm on the life of Kashmiri saint-poetess Habba Khatun was also screened at the festival, inaugurated by city Mayor Chanchala Kodre. (AGENCIES)