Jammu, May 21: Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh Sunday said that the G20 meeting being held at Srinagar, itself, was an indicator of change brought over by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his path-breaking initiatives in the last over nine years.
In an interview to a national news agency today in the union capital, Dr Jitendra said that it was going to be a “full-fledged, wholesome G 20 meeting, like at any other location.” “This is also an indication of the fact that Jammu & Kashmir as a whole and especially Kashmir valley, which was till a few years ago believed to be kind of a nerve centre of terrorism and militancy, is now in the same mainstream line of activity as any other city in the country.”
Union Ministers Dr Jitendra Singh, G Kishan Reddy along with the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir Manoj Sinha will officially inaugurate the 3rd G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting at Srinagar tomorrow. 3-day meet will culminate on May 24, 2023. Following the inaugural ceremony, there will be two important working sessions, one on ‘Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation’ focussing on strategies to promote film tourism and another one on ‘Eco tourism’. There is also time allocated for bilateral meetings among the delegates.
Additionally, for the delegates during their stay in Kashmir, soft events have also been planned. For example, one of the side-events is dedicated to films. Some of the popular stars from the film industry may also attend it. Similarly, there is another event dedicated to highlight the various facets and the beauty of Kashmir, which is known as the ‘Paradise on earth.’ A cultural programme has also been scheduled. Dr Jitendra said, “The very fact that the G20 meeting is being held at Srinagar is in itself an indication of the change that has happened over the last 9 years, particularly following the path-breaking initiatives taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The Minister emphasised, “The event in Srinagar has been very professionally planned just like any other G20 event at any other place.” He said that till a few years ago it was a taboo to visit Jammu & Kashmir and such kinds of events had virtually come to a halt since 1990. “But what we see now is that of all the G20 meetings held all over the country, the maximum excitement is about the G20 meeting at Srinagar. The very fact that the location itself is Srinagar is adding an extra aura and enthusiasm,” he said.
Dr Jitendra said he believed that this was also an opportunity for India to showcase the changed scenario of Jammu & Kashmir which happened under Prime Minister Modi as it was a very committed approach accompanied with courage and conviction.
Dr Jitendra mentioned, “It is not only that India wants to convey a message that things are returning back to normal in Kashmir, it is actually happening. So when the delegates from G20 countries come, many of them visiting Jammu & Kashmir for the first time, and see with their own eyes and try to relate with what has been projected in certain sections of media, they will be able to carry the message and they will be the true messengers of not only Jammu & Kashmir but of India as a whole, as it has emerged under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The Minister further said that the biggest change that happened as a result of the outreach by Prime Minister Modi, apart from the fact that he was according special priority to Jammu & Kashmir as also to Northeast and also arranged for special visits by the members of other ministries, both to Northeast as well as to Jammu & Kashmir, but the change also happened at the level of the common man.