Srinagar: All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders Syed Ali Shah Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement promised to provide security and exemplary hospitality to tourists and Hindu yatris who come every year to Kashmir to perform their religious obligations according to Hinduism. According to statement issued in Srinagar while wholeheartedly welcoming the tourists and yatris who intend to visit the territory said. “Our religion (Islam) and the Prophet (PBUH) have taught us to be kind with our guests and serve them and safeguard their rights at every cost. This is also embedded in our Kashmiri culture and ethics.”
The leaders said, millions of tourists from the world including India have been visiting Kashmir from centuries and enjoying the beauty of this paradise on earth and also the unparalleled hospitality of its people. They said history bears witness to the fact that the Kashmiris have always stood firm with these ethics and teachings and they have always respected, safeguarded and served their guests during hardest of times and worst calamites. The joint leadership said that in 2008 when chauvinist forces in Jammu blocked life saving drugs and baby-food to the Kashmir Valley, the Kashmiris replied that tyranny with their exemplary hospitality to yatris and tourists who were in Kashmir that time.
“We not only safeguarded them and, provided them shelter but also served them and kept the doors of our homes and localities open for them,” the joint leadership said and added that same was done during devastating floods of 2014. Meanwhile, the Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) in a statement hailing the statement of joint resistance leadership said that it would help them to dispel fear among intending visitors.
BJP’s Ram Madhav said that the Hurriyat leaders intended to talk about terrorists instead of tourists. “I think it was a spelling mistake. The Hurriyat leaders wanted to say terrorists but mentioned tourists instead. If they want tourists in the valley, they should eradicate terrorists. They are allowing schools and shops to shut down and are now, doing this drama. If they want tourists in the Valley, they should restore peace,” Ram Madhav said. Congress, as well, condemned the statement as party spokesperson RS Chib remarked: “This appeal is nothing but laughable. They were the ones who came out with a protest calendar and instigated unrest, and now they are asking tourists to visit the Valley.”