Srinagar, May 26 (UNI) Calling upon researchers and scholars to unearth the rich cultural treasure of Kashmir, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said the paradise on earth is having a recorded history dating back to 5000 years.
The researchers and scholars can build upon it in terms of knowledge and scholarship.
He hoped that the Institute of Kashmir Studies (IKS), inaugurated by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil here today, would serve as a beacon for scholars and interested people to learn about Kashmir, its history, culture and the intellectual treasure of its people.
Mr Azad, addressing a function organised to launch the IKS at the University of Kashmir, said Kashmir was an interesting subject with variety and richness that intrigued seekers of knowledge from far and wide.
''The cultural heritage of Kashmir beckons students and research scholars to unravel its richness and present it to the world,'' he said, adding setting up of the IKS was the right step in this direction.
He said he was hopeful that the institute would help the students of Kashmir studies to know about the Valley's history, culture and intellectual wealth of its people.
He referred to the unique distinction of Kashmir in having a recorded history dating back to 5000 years and said it served as a perennial source of inspiration and information for historians all over the world.
Mr Azad said it also spoke of the value the people of Kashmir had always attached to scholarship and knowledge.
He said man's presence in the Valley in pre-historic era had been evidenced by stone tools and implements discovered here and referred to the pre-Harappan site of Burzahome where man lived in complete harmony with nature as a pit dweller.
He alluded to the spirit of tolerance and amity that had always been the defining character of Kashmir and said different religions had co-existed here in harmony.
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