Mirwaiz opposes Govt attempts to lure Israelis to Kashmir
Chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference and Kashmir’s head priest Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has sought an explanation from the state government about its recent attempts to invite Israeli tourists to Kashmir saying most of the visitors could be MOSAD agents in the garb of tourists.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - 'Although we welcome guests and visitors, however, we cannot accept agents of the Israeli Intelligence agencies visiting Kashmir in the garb of tourists,' Mirwaiz said in his Friday sermon at the historic Grand Mosque of Srinagar.
'How can the government invite Israelis, when they are expressly anti-Muslim and anti-Islam?,' he asked.
Seeking an explanation, the Mirwaiz said such steps of the government were dubious and doubtful. 'They should desist from such steps as they hurt the sentiments of Muslims”, adding the issue of Masjid e Aqsa pertains to Muslims around the world and not the Palestinians only.
Mirwaiz stance came days after Kashmir Tourism Department decided to send a delegation to Tel Aviv, in a bid to woo Israeli tourists to Kashmir.
'Israel has not issued a travel advisory for Kashmir and a number of tourists from Israel have been visiting the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh in the past. We are keen that maximum number of tourists from Israel should visit Kashmir. That is why we are visiting the country and on June 25, 2012 we will hold a road show in Tel Aviv,' Talat Pervez, Director, Tourism Kashmir, was quoted as saying.
The Department is organising road shows in Tel Aviv and will screen films and documentaries about Kashmir. The next stop of the tourism department is Jordon and Dubai, the India Today report said.
The trip was, however, abandoned at the last minute following publication of the news in Srinagar newspapers sparking a chain reaction from various organisations.
In spite of travel advisories, the Kashmir Valley is recording an increasing number of tourists this year. Since January this year 5.40 lakh tourists, including 17,000 foreigners, have visited Kashmir.