New Delhi/Srinagar: Farooq Abdullah and Syed Ali Shah Ali Geelani were on Wednesday engaged in a war of words with
the Union Minister attacking the separatist leader for
opposing reopening of cinemas in Kashmir and pitching for a
ban on liquor.
"Mr Geelani must know it is a secular state. It is not an
Islamic state. It is a liberal democratic country," Abdullah
said after Geelani slammed him for advocating reopening of
cinema halls and liquor shops in Kashmir, saying there was no
place for such "immoral things" in the Valley.
The National Conference leader said he would continue to
advocate development of necessary infrastructure for the
growth of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir
The NC leader said if Kashmir wants to grow, the state
must develop its infrastructure.
"...if Kashmir wants to grow as far as tourism is
concerned, all those things that are necessary for getting
more tourists to come, we must grow our infrastructure in our
state.... be it cinema or other things," the New and Renewable
Energy Minister told reporters outside Parliament House.
Cinema halls are closed in the state since 1990 following
the outbreak of militancy.
"...and if he (Gilani) thinks that his fatwa is going to
do anything to me, it has never done anything to me.... I will
continue to say what is right for promoting tourism in our
state and let me make it clear to him that we live in a
country where all religions are equal. He must realise this,"
Demanding a complete ban on alcohol in Kashmir, Geelani
today called for peaceful protests in the Valley on Friday.
Taking a dig at Geelani, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
wondered how many members of Organisation of Islamic Countries
(OIC), which includes Pakistan, allow cinemas to function in
"I`d be interested to know how many OIC member countries
(including Pakistan & Bangladesh) allow cinemas to function in
their countries," he said on microblogging site Twitter.
He also asked whether Geelani would now be demanding a ban
on cable TV.
"Given that cable TV providers show all the movies that
would come to cinemas & some that don`t ;-) will Geelani ask
us to ban cable now?." Abdullah tweeted.