The Bold Voice of J&K

High Profile G20 meeting in Kashmir

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Omkar Dattatray

Finally the wait was over and the much talked about and crucial international event G20 begun in the Srinagar the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir on yesterday 22nd of May despite the criticism and objections from Pakistan. Srinagar city stands decorated like a bride for G20. Sixty one delegates from the influential and powerful countries arrived in Srinagar on 22nd of May baring China, Pakistan and Turkey.
The letter which our neighbour Pakistan had dashed to some eighty countries appealing them not to participate in the G20 meeting fall on the deaf ears of the international community and all except China, Pakistan and Turkey attended the third working group meeting of G20 on tourism In Kashmir. This international event shows that the world is the testimony to changing Kashmir and positive and reformative change as well as the new Kashmir. The world leaders have rejected the Kashmir rant of Pakistan and at the same time have stamped and endorsed the Indian stand and position on Kashmir. Pakistan was rightly and in fact sidelined and isolated by the world community. The warnings and threats of the terrorists could not dampen the spirit of the participants as well as delegates and there is enthusiasm and fervor among the foreign delegates who attended the meeting of G20. The local residents of Srinagar are also upbeat about the G20 meeting and they hope that the meeting will unlock and boost the tourism potential of Jammu and Kashmir and it will give imputes to the tourism industry and economy. This growth in tourism industry will lead to enormous increase in the tourist footfall as never before and Jammu and Kashmir will get its due place and position in the tourism map of the world. It will result in the employment opportunities to the people of the union territory as all the sections of the people associated with tour and travel and in fact with tourism will get livelihood and this will to vast extent address the burning problem of unemployment. Free and frank discussions and deliberations will be held to find the ways and measures to exploit the tourism potential of J&K and to bring it on the tourism map of the world and this is an important development for the UT and its people. The fact is that there is a discernible change in the situation in Kashmir and J&K is fast marching on the path of peace and prosperity and there is positive change and development in Jammu and Kashmir on all fronts and this change stands approved by the international community through the medium of G20 event. The three-day meet kick started with a side event on Film Tourism as there is enough potential for film tourism and it will give opportunity to the local talent as there is no dearth of the youth talent and G20 meeting will encourage and help the local talent so that the youth of the J&K will get opportunity to show their film talent at the international scale. The Union Minister G Krishna Reddy said India will be one stop for film production and he along with MOS Dr Jitendra Singh unveiled Draft National Strategy for film tourism and it will greatly benefit the local people and give boost to film tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. Union Minister of Tourism , G. Krishna Reddy and Union Minister of State independent charge Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the 3rd G20 Tourism meeting. According to Dr Jitendra Singh, the very fact that G20 meeting is being held in Srinagar which in fact is under way is itself an indication of the change that has happened over the last 9 years particularly after the path breaking initiatives taken by PM Narendra Modi. Both the ministers addressed the inaugural ceremony of the 3rd G20 Tourism meeting in SKICC. After the inaugural ceremony there were two important working sessions, on Film Tourism for Economic Growth and cultural Preservation focused on strategies to promote film tourism and another session was on Eco Tourism. There were also bilateral meetings among the delegates. Jitendra Singh said that it is going to be a full-fledged, wholesome G20 meeting ,like at any other location of India. This G20 meeting is an indication of the fact that now Jammu and Kashmir as a whole and especially Kashmir valley which was still a few years ago believed to be a nerve centre of terrorism, is now in the same stream line of activity as any other city in the country. The minister said that the event in Srinagar has been very professionally planned just like in any other G20 event at any other place. It is a matter of pride that some of the film stars of India are also in Kashmir for taking part in the deliberations and their presence among the delegates will give much impetus to the film tourism and in the coming days much importance will be accorded to film tourism and the local talent will get place in the film industry not only nationally but internationally also. For the entertainment of the foreign delegates during their stay in Kashmir, soft events have been added. One of them is hosted by Department of Tourism ,GOI which is dedicated to films. Another event is being hosted by the administration of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir which highlights the various facets and beauty of Kashmir ,which is known as the paradise on earth. A cultural programme was also held for the entertainment of delegates. The G20 meeting in Srinagar is an opportunity for the India to showcase the changed scenario of Jammu and Kashmir which has happened under the dynamic leadership of the PM Narendra Modi. The atmosphere of change is brewing and it has got strength due to the positive efforts of the Modi government and the G20 is witness to the changed Kashmir and holding of this crucial event of G20 is in fact a slap on the face of Pakistan who is raking the non issue of Kashmir time an d again and the G20 meeting shows that there are no takers to the Pakistani noise and rant. The G20 will build on the positive atmosphere prevailing across Kashmir and will unlock the tourism potential in a big way and take it to international scale and map. Let the third tourism working group meeting of G20 bring needed development of tourism sector and exploit the hidden tourism treasure of Jammu and Kashmir and bring it on the global tourist map and this will be a bid development.
(The author is a
columnist ,social and KP activist).

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