Indo-Pak amity is key to J and K's security, Sayeed

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Srinagar, Oct 30 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic party (PDP) Patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said amity, friendship and cooperation between India and Pakistan could provide security and stability in the state.

Addressing a day-long convention of PDP workers at Akad in Pahalgam in south Kashmir today, Mr Sayeed said PDP's agenda is to ensure a future for Jammu and Kashmir in which its people will gradually and substantially benefit by growing cross-border commerce, trade and tourism in the region.

He said the economic future of Jammu and Kashmir is significantly linked to the liberty of its people to travel freely across the borders which will remove the restrictions on our growth as is happening in other parts of the world.

Besides trade and commerce, tourism is going to play a major role in the economic growth of the state.

He said the emerging economic giant of South Asia needs an all season retreat and there could be no ideal place for this than Jammu and Kashmir.

'' Jammu and Kashmir has the capacity and potential to provide tourist and recreational resorts of international standards with breath-taking beauty,'' he said.

Mr Sayeed said opening up of all the traditional routes in Jammu and Kashmir, better connectivity with South and Central Asia, revival of the historic Silk Route and increased traffic on the Karakoram Highway will catapult the State from a tourist destination of the past to a paradise rediscovered.

The PDP Patron said that ''the measures of immense significance taken by the Coalition government during the past five years have not only pulled the tourism industry out of an atmosphere of hopelessness and helplessness but have also put it on a fast a revival path.'' He said in this endeavor besides the government, the tourism industry, both within and outside the state, played a significant and commendable role.

He said the constitution of Tourism Development Authorities with adequate infrastructure has helped a lot in refurbishing the tourist destinations and equipping these with necessary infrastructure.

Sayeed expressed the hope that with the fast improving security situation, tourism industry in the State is going to witness phenomenal growth for which the government and the private sector will have to redouble their efforts to make available the quality infrastructure.

He said the process of moving out security forces from various tourist spots has already begun to make available these spots for development.

He, however, stressed the need for speeding up the process to ensure overall development of these destinations.

UNI

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