In a recently held Road Show organised by KCC&I with the support of the State Tourism Department in Malaysia, the President KCC&I, Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad thanked the Malaysian Tour Operators for their support of the tourism sector of Kashmir. In his welcome address, he requested the Indian High Commissioner to take up the demand of the tourism sector for direct flights to Srinagar. The KCC&I would also be requesting private airlines like Air Asia & Indigo to operate direct flights as it was a growing sector with a healthy demand. He also urged the Tour Operators to explore possibility of devising new circuits within the State which should include newer destinations. Dr. Mubeen Shah, Past President of KCCI during his address also requested the MOBTO to devise longer duration packages for Kashmir instead of the usual 2/3 nights program as one can’t see enough of Kashmir in just 3 days.
Shri Nikhilesh Giri, Deputy High Commissioner of India who was the Guest of Honour assured all support to KCCI and J&K Tourism to encourage more Malaysians to visit Kashmir and urged State Tourism Department to display more publicity material at the twin offices of High Commissions for distribution to all the tourists who approach them for VISA. Others who also spoke on this occasion were Shri Thangavellu, President of MITTA & Mr. Pradeep, Chairman of Communications – MATTA. Later President KCC&I, Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad announced FAM Tour of 50 Tour operators which will be jointly managed by MITTA & MATTA and jointly hosted by KCC&I with logistic support from our Hoteliers, Tour Operators and Houseboat Owners. Chief Guest of the function, YB. Muhammad Bakhtiar Bin Wan Chik, Hon’ble Dy. Minister Tourism & Culture of Malaysia assured his ministries support to J&K Tourism and KCCI for future promotions in Malaysia. Spokesperson of the tour operators assured the delegations that at least One Hundred Thousand tourists would visit Kashmir from Malaysia. Vote of Thanks was presented by Treasurer KCCI, Mr Manzoor A Pakhtoon.
Later, President KCCI, along with Office bearers called on the Indian High Commissioner & First Secretary. A wide range of issues regarding Trade, Commerce & Tourism where discussed, wherein the High Commissioner requested President, KCCI to participate in the Malaysia Heritage Expo scheduled to take place in June. The High Commissioner assured full support to the participants of KCCI.
A spokesman of the KCC&I stated that the Kashmir Chamber will make all out efforts to defeat the motivated propaganda by vested interests, intended to target economy of Kashmir and to prevent people from interacting with Kashmiri people. He said that it was unfortunate how social media, some selected TV Channels and print media were being used to spread false and misleading news. The divisive elements were attempting to influence the secular and unbiased opinion of a majority of people by exhorting them not to visit Kashmir.
In this hour, it is the responsibility of all public thinkers, intellectuals and members of the civil society to expose elements behind these sinister campaigns. Time has come to ask uncomfortable questions and seek answers from those busy in distortion of facts. True picture of Kashmir awaits unprejudiced minds to see for themselves how far from reality the obfuscation is. We are proud, as ever, of our hospitality, humanitarian values and secular ethos.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce urges all secular and right thinking individuals, interested in knowing the truth to see how negative image of our place and people is projected.
Why all this? Only for elections. The politics of hatred and communalism has found no takers as the recent domestic election results for four states indicate and the escalation of conflict has been discouraged by all global powers. Patriotism seems to be the last refuge for some elements and needs to be seen in the light that it deserves.
This is a message of peace, brotherhood, love and understanding from a place where people are undergoing very tough and harsh conditions.
1. If You want to escape unrelenting warmongering by sections of the media;
2. If You are tired of unashamed ridiculous news anchors;
3. To know difference between Truth and Hype;
4. To know How propagation of Hate Politics has alienated people;
5. To know how good our people are, in particular youth, who have been pushed to the wall;
6. To know how secular our people are, who opened their doors for the visitors, stranded or otherwise, in moment of crisis;
7. To know how appreciative we are of the help extended and doors opened to our people, especially students, when under attack from goons and hooligans in various States;
8. To know that like all human beings, what we strive for is respect, honour and a life of dignity.