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Tourist footfall from SE Asia encouraging: Secy Tourism

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Srinagar, Oct 20: Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance (JKTA) held its 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) Saturday here during which an award ceremony honouring veterans of the travel and hospitality sector, its founder members and past presidents besides media persons was also held.

Commissioner Secretary Culture Mohammad Saleem Shishgar, Secretary Tourism Rigzin Samphel, Secretary Information, Youth Service and Sports Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Kashmir Tasaduq Jeelani, Special Secretary School Education Mohammad Hussain Mir, Deputy Directors Masrat Hashim and Sarfarz Mohammad were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Rigzin Samphel said tourist footfall from South East Asian countries was increasing which is an encouraging sign.
He said the department is organizing Kashmir Autumn Festival from October 25 to October 27 at Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg in which 100 delegates from travel and media industry have been invited to showcase the state’s tourism potential and counter negative perception.
“We will be inviting the leading tourism destination sellers from across the country on a FAM tour here during the festival so that they get the first-hand experience of how beautiful the Valley is and how freely the tourists are enjoying holidays and local hospitality. This will help us counter negative perception to a greater extent,” he said.
While complementing JKTA for holding its AGM, Sarmad Hafeez said tourism industry has always bounced back and is the resilient sector.
He said the local travel fraternity worked very hard for the success of Travel Agents Association of India convention held in Srinagar which helped improve general perception about Kashmir.
“People all over the country want to visit Kashmir. We need to tell them positive stories from J&K. Most of the time media plays up circumstances here but there are hundreds of the other positive stories which are worth sharing and can help build confidence among travellers to visit Kashmir,” he said.
The Special Secretary School Education Department said besides other tourism products, the J&K State has to exploit the potential MICE, golf, wedding and educational tourism.
He said if school and college tours are organized here, the students will definitely motivate their parents to visit Kashmir for holidaying.
Earlier, Chairman JKTA Manzoor Pakhtoon delivered the welcome address while as its secretary general Tanveer Dar read out the AGM report.

 
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State

Kuka Parray part of script drafted by late Mufti Syed: NC

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday rejected the canards of Naeem Akhtar as “uncouth and reflective of his political bankruptcy” and said that Kuka Parray worked as per the script drafted by late Mufti Syed as home minister of India.

In a statement issued to media, North Zone President and former Minister Mohammad Akbar lone said that accusations against NC are coming from a person to which PDP owes its disintegration.

Mohammad Akbar Lone while rejecting the jibes of a self styled leader as travesty of facts said, “Nayeem Akhtar belongs to a gang which has been drawing its sustenance from RSS and other forces as are hostile to the special position of the state,” he said, adding that as an assistant of Mufti Muhammad Syed during his tenure as central minister, Akhtar remained equally involved in destabilizing the state.

 

“He continued to work for Mufti Syed by resorting to writing ghost articles under a pen name ‘Satar Wagay’. As a sequacious writer he continued to target only National conference on a daily basis in spite of being a working bureaucrat then. Politicians like Nayeem Akhtar typify opportunism and political bankruptcy as it was him and his party which joined hands with RSS just to satiate their lust for power,” he said adding that it was difficult to understand as to which side of political divide he belongs to.

North Zone President said, “Nayeem Akhtar’s recent assertions on Kuka Parray are unsubstantiated due to the fact that NC workers were the one who suffered most during the hay days of the renegade era in Kashmir.”

“People are not that gullible, they know that it was late Mufti Syed who presided over 18 massacres as home minister, was the brain behind Ikhwan and was instrumental in extending the dreaded AFSPA to the state. Renegades like Kuka Parray owe their being to the policies of Mufti Syed that he pursued during his stint as home minister of India,” he said.

The north zone president said that Nayeem Akhtar has been a point man of BJP-RSS right from early seventies and owing to his services he was given ministerial berths in two consecutive Muftis led governments.

“Otherwise how can a political low weight with no political base get higher ministerial berths?” he said adding “National conference had to suffer immensely at the hands of Kukka Parray, and that the local party functionaries of Sumbal Sonawari belt had to migrate to escape from the wrath of the renegades,” he said.

“National conference has a base in people in Sumbal–Sonawari, and I have been representing the seat for many consecutive terms. We as a party don’t support violence rather we have always been the victims,” he added.

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Bail plea of separatist detainees shouldn’t be opposed: Mir

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) president and former minister, Ghulam Hassan Mir on Thursday said that the government has failed to produce challan in the court against the separatist leaders who have been arrested almost a year ago over the charges of alleged terror funding.

Mir in a statement to media said that even after one year has elapsed since the separatist leaders were arrested, the government has failed to produce challan against the leaders and at the same time are creating obstacles to them in getting bail.

“The bail plea of the detainees is being opposed by the government. This is not fair and against the natural justice as one hand they are not producing challan and on the other they are creating obstacle to them in getting the bail. Giving bail to any person doesn’t mean a clean chit to any accused,” he added.

 

He added wife of one among the detainees, Shahid-ul-Islam is on death bed and govt should not become obstacle to him in getting the bail.

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DAK welcomes Govt order of uniform rate for diagnostic tests

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Doctors Association Kashmir on Thursday welcomed the order issued by state administration where in fresh directions are given to hospital authorities to ensure that patients get diagnostic services in public hospitals on uniform rates across the state. The authorities were directed to implement the directions in letter and spirit to ensure all patients get diagnostic services in public hospitals on nominal prescribed charges.

In a statement issued to the media, Dr Suahil Naik, president Doctor’s Association Kashmir said that we were pushing for uniform rate of diagnostic tests across the state and we want people to question the hospital authorities if they try to overcharge them.

“People should approach grievance cell of the health and medical education department to file their complaints if hospital authorities are accused of not providing diagnostics services to the patients at prescribed rates,” said Suhail.

 

“Why should people pay hefty amount for diagnostic tests in government hospitals? Our government hospitals are not meant for fund generations,” questioned Dr Naik.

While lambasting health administrators, Dr Naik alleged that “Actual problem lies with system where in juniors, inefficient, incompetent persons are parachuted and promoted as hospital administrators.

“People who are illegally promoted don’t have an iota of idea to project the annual finances required for providing diagnostic facilities at nominal charges to finance department or state government. With the result state government fails in keeping budgetary allocations for same and a financial gap is generated at gross root level. Therefore health administrators then charge extra and exorbitant rates from poor patients to run the system uniformly,” he said.

Dr Owais H Dar General Secretary DAK said that reformative changes at gross root level are required to get vibrant and patient friendly system. The need of minute is that health department is in dire need of intellectually effective health administration, who shall serve purpose in framing state health budget. Dr Dar further added that adequate funds must be provided to the hospitals to meet out day to day demands as per requirements.

Dr Mir Mushtaq senior executive member of DAK said that until there is deadwood running hospital affairs, the health care system is bound to deteriorate and degenerate with passage of time.

It is moral and ethical responsibility of states financial department to keep a full-fledged budget for diagnostic facilities.

Hospital development fund should be paid to dedicated contractual employees of hospital and on day to day repair and maintenance of hospitals he further added.

DAK thanked social activists, media fraternity and civil societies for raising parallel voice with DAK, whenever it is desired in the interest of patient care.

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