Re-opening of routes to Central Asia not impossible: Mehbooba

Re-opening of routes to Central Asia not impossible: Mehbooba
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Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday once again said that opening of routes to Central Asia will help resolve the Kashmir issue.
“Our culture, craft, and cuisine are influenced by Central Asia,” Mehbooba said on the sidelines of the 7th International Buyer-Seller meet here. “It was the dream of late Mufti sahab that Kashmir should become a gateway to Central Asia. The Silk Road has its own identity in the world.”
She said it was her long held wish that old routes to central Asia should be revived. “The geopolitical situation is not positive, but I believe nothing is impossible. The opening of Muzaffarabad road was impossible, but it was opened,” she said.
“In future, the opening of routes to Central Asia will help in solving the Kashmir problem,” she said.
Reiterating that all routes to Kashmir should be opened, she said that the state should open up to the world as an international trading destination through land routes, realising its geopolitical situation.
Mehbooba said it was highly delightful to see that participants had come from Turkey and Central Asia to see the handicrafts of Kashmir and to buy them.
Hailing the artisan community for keeping the state’s distinctive crafts alive, she said it was the craftspersons who kept things moving when many of the economic activities of the state were not good in the past three decades. “Our artisans do not use their fingers and hands only, they give their blood and soul to produce the artefacts J&K is known for,” she said in her address. “I assure you that my government is with you,” she said to the artisan community.
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 GM Dug – for outstanding contribution to business and industry. She also released a catalogue of the Buyer-Seller meet.
Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar, Commissioner-Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Shailendra Kumar, Chairman, JK Bank, Parvez Ahmad, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, IGP Kashmir zone, SP Pani, President, Jammu Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Rakesh Gupta, and senior officers and handicraft exporters from several countries were present on the occasion.