Just a few days after the dress code controversy in Kashmir, the separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has now demanded a ban on the Israeli tourists in the Valley. Mirwaiz called Israel as the biggest enemy of Islam and even objected to the tourism department’s road shows in Israel promoting tourism.
This year Kashmir attracted five lakh tourists out of which 17,000 were foreign nationals. The government is expecting the number of tourists to increase this year. Mirwaiz on July 6, 2012 said, “Government should explain why it’s encouraging Israelis to visit Kashmir. Muslims all over the world have problem with Israel due to its aggressive policy towards Palestine”.
The officials and artists from the state had taken part in a road show in Israel to promote Kashmir as an international tourist destination. The show was sponsored by the central government and Jammu and Kashmir was a part of about 18 states which participated in the road show.
Atul Dallu, the principal secretary of tourism department said, “The road show was a part of the ministry of tourism sponsored event held in a few countries in Middle East and Europe. Israel was part of a three country tour which included Dubai and Jordan”. Dallu refused to comment on Mirwaiz’s comments.