SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti expressed the hope that Jammu & Kashmir opens up to the world as an international trading destination through land routes, realizing its geopolitical situation, as part of a peaceful region.
“There is no doubt that the geopolitical situation is not positive, but as we move ahead and look at the Kashmir issue-silk route like other routes has an important role to play in the resolution of Kashmir issue. There is need to open JK from all sides,” Mehbooba told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Srinagar.
“Silk route is an ancient network of trade routes that extended across Asia, linking powerful civilizations like Rome and China,” she said.
“Jammu and Kashmir was considered as the gateway to Central Asia and we have a strong connection in terms of our culture, craft, and cuisine with Central Asia,” she said.
She added that it was Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s dream that there should be a revival of the traditional silk route. “The route is of great importance to all of us,” the CM added.
“Till Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was opened, it seemed like an impossible task but we did it and nothing is actually impossible,” she said.
Earlier, addressing a function on the inauguration of 7th International Buyer-Seller meet here, the Chief Minister said the State has been the recipient of major cultural, social and economic influences from the areas of Silk route from the past seven centuries. She said these influences, once used contextually, would help in making the State a hub of economic activity in the region.
On the efforts of her Government in this direction, the Chief Minister said two dray ports are being set up at Jammu and Srinagar to get the goods from the State to the international market in a hassle free manner. She said with such an easy mode of transportation the agri and horticultural produce from the State would get a quality international market.
Terming the Buyer-Seller meet as a milestone to promote the crafts of the State, Mehbooba Mufti said she is confident that such events build the trust between the business communities of the State and outside and also mark the beginning of the establishment of the State as a major international trading centre. She complimented the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Industries Department for organizing today’s event.
Welcoming the outside participants in today’s event, the Chief Minister compared the composition of today’s gathering with a masterpiece created the local artisans depicting the inclusive and colorful outlook of the people living here. She said she believed that such an occasion would provide a meeting ground to the artisans of the State, entrepreneurs and the trading community to promote the arts and crafts of the State and build a relationship of trust and sustained interest with their outside counterparts.
“I hope you will go back as our ambassadors in the international trading community and the masterpieces you carry from here will act as souvenirs of peace and goodwill”, she said in her address.
Hailing the artisan community of the State for keeping the distinctive crafts alive despite distressing times in the past, the Chief Minister said that it was the crafts persons community who kept the things moving when many of the economic parametres in the State were not so good during the last three decades.
“Our artisans do not use their fingers and hands only, they give their blood and soul to produce the artifacts J&K is known for”, she said in her address while pledging all support from her Government. “I assure you that my Government is with you for the promotion and strengthening of handicraft sector”, she added.
Minister for Industries, Chander Parkash Ganga; Minister for Finance & Education, Syed Altaf Bukhari; Minister of State for Industries & Commerce, Asiea Naqash and President, KCCI, JavedTenga also addressed the gathering.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister presented lifetime awards to three distinguished businessmen-Abdul Majeed Mattoo, Muhammad Amin Tramboo and G M Dug-for the outstanding contribution to business and industry. She also released a catalogue of the today’s Buyer-Seller meet.