Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said communal harmony is the foundation of pluralistic civilisation and heritage of the state. "The communal harmony has been the bedrock of pluralistic civilisation and heritage of this part of the country co-existing in amity," he said during the inauguration ceremony of trade-cum-tourist infrastructure raised by the private sector in Katra belt of Reasi district.
The CM referred to the world-renowned pilgrimages of Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Baba Amarnath Ji in Kashmir, saying that these have grown and nurtured in an atmosphere of "brotherhood and oneness".
Noting that J&K has been the abode of great religions, saints and sufis he highlighted the need of showcasing the rich potential of pilgrim tourism of the State to the world.
The CM said more than one crore pilgrims visit the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine yearly giving considerable fillip to the economy of the people.
Similarly, he said, over half a million pilgrims visit Amarnath shrine annually in Kashmir which enhances economic activities for the people of the state.
Omar said there was a need to divert pilgrims to conventional tourism to encourage them to visit different other tourist spots in the state.
Inviting private players to invest in developing infrastructure in Katra town, the Chief Minister said Katra is emerging as the third important town after Srinagar and Jammu in the state.
He also underlined the need of extending high class hospitality and service to the tourists and pilgrims visiting Shri Mata Vaisho Devi and other places.
Omar said creating modern tourist facilities in pilgrimage towns and other places inconsonance with environmental and ecological requirements is the need of the hour.
He said government will act as a facilitator for raising tourist infrastructure in the state by the investors in joint ventures.