Land can be given to outsiders on lease in J

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Gulmarg, Kashmir, Feb 18 (UNI) Clearing the air on buying land in Jammu and Kashmir controversy, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said there was nothing wrong in offering land on lease to outsiders for development purposes.

''We are not selling the land to outsiders, but it could be provided to them on lease for the development of infrastructure,'' he said adding that Jammu and Kashmir has to open up to achieve all round development.

''We can not remain in isolation and have to take benefit of technological advancement for progress and prosperity'', the Chief Minister said after inaugurating the fifth national winter sports games here.

Mr Azad's clarification came after his deputy and Tourism Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig, a few days ago in Delhi, said that there was a wrong notion that outsiders can not buy land in the state. The statement had generated a controversy.

Under the law, no outsider can buy land in Jammu and Kashmir for his personal use but it could be offered on lease for developmental activities.

Referring to election in Pakistan, the Chief Minister hoped that democracy would be restored in that country as it would help restore peace in the region. He was also confident of achieving peace with Pakistan.

Mr Azad said the state government would host a major international sports event in Gulmarg next year in which many international sports personalities were expected to participate.

UNI SMA SK KN1814

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