Srinagar: Union Minister Farooq Abdullah
on Monday said cinemas and liquor shops should reopen in Kashmir
to give more options to tourists visiting the state.
"When we can have television at home, when we can watch
pirated films at our homes what is wrong with cinemas then?
"Are not these functioning in Pakistan where there is so
much fervour about Islam," Abdullah said.
Steps like reopening of cinemas and liquor sale would
boost the tourism industry in the state, he said.
The Minister for New and Renewable Energy was addressing
a function to celebrate the birth anniversary of his father
and National Conference founder Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah here.
"The cinemas are not here, where will the tourists go at
night. Do you want them to stay inside the room?" Abdullah
The Union Minister asked the media to tone down its
reportage of protests as it had a "negative impact" on the
He said the biggest challenge before the state was the
lack of proper infrastructure and where to channelise the
growing rush of tourists.
"The tourist facilities created at Chesma Shahi are used
by government officials for residential purposes and that too
free. If the situation has become normal in the state, then
why do we have to pay for the travel and accommodation of
these officers," Abdullah said.
"Time has changed and we shall also change now," he said.