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Monday, July 23, 2007

Solar power could help lead Kashmir region to state of abundance

Canadian Envoy says Kashmir Could be Richest State


Srinagar, July 20 - With the improvement in the security situation, Kashmir could be richest state in the country as more and more foreign tourists are interested to visit here. This was stated by Canadian High Commissioner, David Malone to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at a meeting last evening, an official spokesman said today.

He said Mr Azad informed Mr David that the situation in Pakistan since March had affected the dialogue process between India and that country.

The High Commissioner, during his hour-long discussion on mutual interest, talked about his interest in Kashmir and said at 21 when he was a student, he and three of his friends had come here to spend summer and had a wonderful time.

He said the Valley was still as beautiful as it had been then and only if the security situation improved it could be the richest state in India as more and more foreign tourists would then visit this place.

Mr David said some countries had issued advisories for their citizens against visiting Kashmir because of security reasons. This, he said, could be revoked once the security situation improves.

He said he had discussed this with his other colleagues in Delhi, especially the British High Commissioner.

''I am sending some of his house guests to Kashmir and some had already visited Ladakh''.

He said three weeks ago he had been in Leh and found the place well administered.

He informed the Chief Minister that his High Commission holds ice hockey tournament in Leh every year in February and had funded solar energy project there providing electricity to 400 households.

The High Commissioner said as a boy he grew up and studied in Iran where his parents were working.

He said he found the culture of the Valley similar in many respects with that of Iran with women of Kashmir being in better position than their Iranian counterparts in.

The High commissioner enquired about the rehabilitation of the earthquake victims of 2005 and said his country had helped in emergency aid.

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