Mufti Eyes On Bollywood To Revive Tourism
19 January 2003
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Saying that the youth who didnít pick-up gun, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed has said that his Government will initiate socio-economic activities to channelise their energy, talent and productivity. In this context, the Chief Minister has taken various steps. He has also sought Centreís assistance to absorb the Valley youth on the vacant posts and plans to meet bollywood producers to shoot their films in Kashmir. Giving details of some of the steps taken by him in absorbing the youth, the the Chief Minister told PTI that the Centre has agreed to remove the freeze on filing the vacancies in various Central Government offices which had been lying vacant since the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits to safer places in 1989. The Chief Minister said during his meeting with the Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh yesterday, he had raised the issue of filling up of these vacancies. 'The Union Minister passed on the spot instructions and this will help the State Government in providing more job opportunities for the well-qualified and unemployed youths,' the Mufti said. Sayeed said the focus of his Government was completely on the socio-economic growth of the State and provide the basic necessity to the people. 'When everyone says that something needs to be done for youths with gun, why should we forget those youths who did not pick up the gun all these years,' Sayeed said. He said his Government would lay special emphasis on such youths and involve them in the socio-economic growth of the State. In an effort to woo bollywood to shoot films in Kashmir valley and in the process, local youth could get job opportunities, the JK Chief Minister said that he also plans to meet several prominent film personalities in Mumbai. 'I will be meeting producers in Mumbai asking them to come to the valley and shoot films there,' Mufi Sayeed told. Kashmir was a natural destination of film producers from 1970 onwards but there was a sudden halt after militancy reared its ugly head in 1990. During the last 13 years, only two pictures were shot in the state ó Roja and Mission Kashmir. 'Kashmir is beautiful. The lush green Valley and the serene environment provide everything that a film director is looking for,' Sayeed said. He said these attempts were being made to revive the tourism industry of the State to its optimum level. 'I will be also meeting the captains of tourism industry in Mumbai and will present the case of behalf of my people and request them to make the Valley their destination,' he said. The Chief Minister said that his Government will soon set up a 1000-member strong State volunteer force to assist police to tackle militancy in the State. Mufti Sayeed said the police would also be made self-sufficient in dealing with the menace of terrorism and efforts were afoot to moderinse the force. 'We have started modernizing the State Police besides strengthening it with more personnel so that they can deal with the militancy also,' Sayeed said. He said a 1000-member Jammu and Kashmir volunteer force comprising Special police Officers would be formed soon which would be helping the police stations in dealing with all terrorist related crimes. The SPOs were formed by the previous Farooq Abdullah Government at a monthly stipend of Rs 1500. They were entrusted with guarding the politicians only. 'As per our plans, these members would undergo a three-month rigorous training. After completion they would be sent to various police stations for assistance,' Sayeed said. Besides, two battalions of Indian Reserve Police Force would be created and filling of vacancies in the State police would be completed on a war footing. 'This will provide employment to nearly 3000 youths in the State,' he said. Without naming anyone, the Chief Minister admitted that there were 'some enemies who were working hard to derail our peace process and undermine the policy of healing touch.' 'However, we are determined to go ahead and work for the people of the State,' he said. Meanwhile, Mufti Mohd Sayeed today addressed the Officers and Cadets drawn from all over the country at Republic Day camp. he lauded the role of National Cadets Corps (NCC) in inculcating a sense of nationalism, integration and discipline and said that Jammu and Kashmir Government will take suitable measures to give fillip to NC. He invited the Director General of NCC Lt. General B K Bopnar to Jammu to discuss measures for growth of NCC in the state. All colleges and other educational institutions would be involved. He said Jammu and Kashmir provides vast potential for adventure that is one of the major activities of NCC training. He said NCC is essential for physical development of youth that will go a long way in overall development of the personality of the youth. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed referred to the measures initiated by his coalition Government in two months and said that we are determined to restore peace with dignity and address alienation of the people by redressing their genuine grievances. He said the enemy is working hard to derail our peace process and undermine the policy of healing touch. Exhibiting determination to face the situation with commitment and fortitude, the Chief Minister said we would not allow these elements to succeed in their designs. He also referred to the historic mandate of peace given by the people in the internationally acknowledged transparent and fairest elections and said this sacred mandate would not be negated. The Government is steadfast on it, he added. Referring to vast infrastructure of the country, the Chief Minister said that India is emerging as a power. Besides technological advancement, the unique unity in diversity has also lent great strength to the nation. He said NCCís integration camps also reflect this concept. He asked NCC authorities to organize national integration camp in Srinagar in near future. He expressed happiness over participation of 86-member contingent of J&K at National level camp and hoped it would keep the stateís flag high. He specially mentioned the participation of girls in the camp. The Director General NCC apprised the Chief Minister about the activities of the camp, which is attended by 1800 cadets including 79 from 9 commonwealth countries. The Chief Minister also visited flag area where different NCC Directorates have prepared models on different themes. Cadet Shabir Ahmed Katoch gave presentation of Jammu and Kashmir theme-India emerging as global power. Similar presentation was given by a cadet of Maharashtra. Later, he was conducted to Motivational Hall where cadets of different states explained to the Chief Minister the objectives of NCC training which are broadly categorised as institutional training, adventure, community development and youth exchange. Mufti Sayeed evinced keen interest in these activities. Earlier, he was presented guard of honour. He also interacted with NCC cadets of the State and encouraged them to excel at the camp.