Srinagar: Calling all party leaders to ignore their differences and come together for the sake of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah feels optimistic regarding the Kashmir issue.

He said, “A political solution is needed as the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved just by bringing pace in economy and development. Though more than 6 lakh tourists and almost the same number of Amarnath pilgrims visited the valley this year, it benefits only the local people.”

Addressing the foundation stone ceremony of ‘Naagar Nagar’ mega tourist circuit near Kathi Darwaza in Srinagar on Sunday, he said, “This is a major initiative by the government to preserve Srinagar or ‘Shehr-e-Khas’ as a cultural heritage site and bring it on the tourism map. Special tourist spots will be set up here and tourists will get to watch the local artistic work”.

Expressing his gratitude for the government, he said, “The sum of Rs 34.18 crore will be very helpful in developing heritage and cultural tourism in the state.”

He also laid the foundation stone of reconstruction of Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) which was destroyed in 2005 terror attacks. The new centre will come up at the same spot and will be completed within a year with Rs 9.88 crore cleared for it.

Referring to the police recruitment in the state, he said it will continue in the near future too. On the lack of power shortage, he asked the people to conserve electricity and pay the bills on time.

State Environment Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora informed, “The sum of Rs 50 crore has also been sanctioned for development of a Sufi Circuit”.

Reacting to the BJP outburst on his tweet on Afzal Guru, he has challenged the party to file a case against him if he had mentioned anything unconstitutional. 
 
Also present at the event were Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah, state's Rural Development Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar and others.

(JPN/Bureau)