GULMARG, Jan 14: Term-ing tourism as one of the best means to promote dialogue, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has said that it gives ample opportunities to people to know each other better and closely.
Interacting with a group of tourists on the side-lines of a three day snow festival here last evening, the Chief Minister said that tourism promotes interactions at people’s level, removes misgivings and creates bonds of amity among sections of societies. That is why, she said, every tourist visit to the State is a step towards peace.
Mehbooba Mufti asked the guests not to get carried away by what they see on the television but come to experience the truth on their own. She said the impression about the State would improve consequentially with more and more tourist arrivals as they would be judging the place for themselves rather than relying on newsroom discussions of some news channels.
The three day festival is expected to show case winter attractions at the famed tourist resort. During the festival, events like snow cycling, snow zorbing, snow tubing, ATV race, ethnic and street food festivals and cultural events at Gandola base station would be held.
Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Mufti; Advisor to Chief Minister, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo; MLA, Gulmarg, Muhammad Abbas Wani; Afghan Ambassador, Shaida Mohammad Abdali; CEO, NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant; Additional Solicitor General of India, Pinki Anand; well-known columnist & British parliamentarian, Lord Meghnad Desai; filmmaker, Imtiyaz Ali; writer, Rakhshanda Jalil and renowned personalities from different walks of life were present on the occasion.
Also present were Secretary, Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez; Director, Tourism, Mahmood Ahmad Shah; heads of other wings of Tourism Department; Deputy Commis-sioner, Baramulla, Nasir Naqash and other senior civil and police officers.