SRINAGAR: The Department of Tourism has condoled the demise of former Director-General, Tourism, Muhammad Ashraf who passed away last night on Tuesday.
The deceased had served the Department in various capacities and rose to the position of Director-General.
Soon after hearing of Ashraf’s demise, a condolence meeting was convened at the Directorate of Tourism here this morning in which the speakers recalled the contribution rendered by late Ashraf in the development of Tourism in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The condolence meeting was chaired by Secretary, Tourism, Culture, Youth Services & Sports, Sarmad Hafeez.
Addressing the meeting, Sarmad Hafeez said late Batkoo was an encyclopaedia of Kashmir tourism whose contribution in its growth and development is unparalleled. He said he had the passion of promoting Kashmir tourism to such an extent that he did it even after his retirement through his newspaper columns and books.
“He popularised Adventure tourism in Jammu & Kashmir in a big way and his contribution in getting Ladakh on the tourist map would always immortalise Ashraf sahib”, the Tourism Secretary said in his address in the condolence meeting.
Hafeez prayed for peace to the departed soul of Batkoo and conveyed his sympathies with the bereaved family.
Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani in his address said with his vast experience in tourism, trekking and adventure sports, Ashraf made a phenomenal contribution to J&K’s tourism which would be remembered by one and all. He also prayed for peace to the departed soul.
The condolence meeting was attended by all the senior officers and staff of the Tourism Department.
Similar condolence meetings were held at the offices of Tourism Department at New Delhi and Jammu.
Considered as the founder of adventure tourism in Kashmir, Ashraf played a key role in developing Ladakh as a tourist destination and bringing it on the tourist map of the world. He would write frequently on the history of the land, tourism and other social issues. He also authored a couple of books on Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.