BALTAL: Minister for Rural Development, Abdul Haq Khan, today said the Amarnath Yatris are the brand ambassadors of Kashmir who change the negative perception about Kashmir built from negative reportage in a section of the media.
The Minister said this while interacting with Yatris and local population at Baltal and Panjtarni in the Ganderbal district. He said the Kashmir Valley has become a victim of vicious negative campaign by a section of media which needs to be changed.
He said Yatris visiting Kashmir are a proof that Kashmir is an epitome of communal harmony and brotherhood.
Abdul Haq said the people of Kashmir are the real guardians of the Amarnath Yatra and the Yatris as they offer all possible support to the Yatris, not even shying away from carry the Yatris on their shoulders up to the cave besides offering them food and shelter.
The Minister said he was happy to see the reaction of Yatris who were earlier reluctant to visit Kashmir owing to the negative perception, adding the Yatris find a completely different picture on ground quite contrary to the picture portrayed in a section of the media. He said the people to people contact will help in building trust as well as in more people visiting the Valley.
Earlier, Abdul Haq visited the Baltal and Panjtarni base camps to take stock of the arrangements put in place for the Yatris. He said the government is providing all necessary facilities to the pilgrims during the Shri Amarnathji Yatra and that an effective mechanism has been put in place for the smooth conduct of the Yatra.
On the occasion, Abdul Haq went around the camps and interacted with Yatris, langer owners, ponywalas among others. The Yatris expressed satisfaction over the arrangements and gratitude for the locals who they said are always there to provide assistance to them.
Later, the Minister held a meeting with the concerned officers to review the arrangements put in place for smooth conduct of the Yatra. He was informed that all necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure hassle-free Yatra. The Minister asked the officers to maintain close synergy among themselves to ensure timely and adequate deliverance of services to be provided to the pilgrims.
Abdul Haq said the government is closely reviewing the arrangements and is hopeful that pilgrims coming to State as part of Amarnath Yatra will enjoy their pilgrimage.