J&K part of India while Pakistan battling crisis: G K Reddy

Reddy said India would hold a tourism summit to discuss the investments in popular tourist states like J&K, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
Reddy said India would hold a tourism summit to discuss the investments in popular tourist states like J&K, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.ANI

Srinagar: Stating that Pakistan was battling a crisis, Union Tourism Minister G K Reddy here Tuesday said that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India, and Pakistan had no right to talk about it.

“Pakistan is battling a crisis and should focus on its own plight,” Reddy told reporters on the sidelines of the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) here.

He said that the government was doing everything to benefit “our” people.

Reddy questioned saying, “Who is Pakistan to say anything? What right does it have? J&K has been a part of India since independence. This is our land, these are our people, and thousands of people have sacrificed their lives for it. Who is Pakistan to say anything?”

He said Pakistan should pay attention to itself and do something for the betterment of its people.

“Provide them employment, food… Why are you talking about us? You have no right. Pakistan is battling a crisis, people are dying of hunger, they do not get rice or gas, so it should focus there,” the union tourism minister said and asserted that the people of J&K were happy. “We [Centre] were doing everything for them and would continue to do so in the future as well. There is no need to give importance to what Pakistan says. Pakistan is finished. We do not have to think about Pakistan. We have to think about the people of J&K. No one can separate J&K from the rest of India.”

He said: “We will together take J&K on the path of development. You should not insult J&K or its people. They (opposition parties) want law-and-order problems here, terror problems, hartals, people involved in AK47 and RDX. They do not want peace.”

 Reddy said India would hold a tourism summit to discuss the investments in popular tourist states like J&K, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

“We have to project India as the number-one destination globally. Private investment is necessary and without it, a huge country like India with such a huge population and lakhs of destinations cannot increase tourism,” he said. “PM Narendra Modi-led government wants people from across the world to come and invest in tourist destinations to make them world-class.”

Referring to the ongoing G20 meeting here, Reddy said such meetings would take place in the capitals of all states.

He said 250 meetings would take place in 56 cities under India’s presidency.

“It was decided to organise this meeting in Srinagar, which is a historic city. However, some precautions had to be taken because it is after so many years that such an event is taking place here. J&K has seen many incidents, there were different problems in J&K, but now, the atmosphere is great here,” the union tourism minister said. “People want development in J&K, they want infrastructure, employment generation at par with the rest of India. That is what the common people of J&K hope and expect. That is why we are taking J&K on the path of progress under the vision of PM Modi.”

He said that the meeting would deliberate on the steps to be taken in order to double tourism’s contribution to J&K’s GDP.

Reddy said that during 2022, tourism contributed seven per cent of J&K’s GDP.

“How to take it to 15 percent this year and how to increase employment avenues, this meeting will discuss that. The G20 meeting will not only benefit J&K, but the whole country,” he said.

The union tourism minister said that in the times to come, Srinagar would become the number one destination for tourists not only from India but from across the world.

On Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks that the Bharatiya Janata Party had hijacked the G20 meeting, Reddy said some opposition parties did not want peace in J&K.

He said that today developmental works were happening at a faster pace for the first time since independence.

“So, I appeal to opposition parties for support, and if you cannot support, then sit silently at home and do not become a hurdle,” Reddy said.

He said that the government’s priority was peace and it would work with zero-tolerance on the issue of terrorism.

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