Kashmiris need empathetic understanding: social activist Dhar | india | Hindustan Times
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Kashmiris need empathetic understanding: social activist Dhar

india Updated: Feb 03, 2014 17:14 IST

The Kashmir Valley is not facing "any problems" at present, and Kashmiri people needed "empathetic understanding", Vijay Dhar, a social activist from Kashmir, has said.

"There is no problem in Kashmir now. Terrorism in the state was fought by Kashmiri women and not by the Army. The problem is only in a few minds, whose mindset has not changed," he observed, after being felicitated at the 'Heritage of Kashmir' cultural festival held here by social organisation Sarhad on Sunday night.

Dhar, who was honoured by University of Pune vice-chancellor Vasudev Gade, said, "There is no problem in the state, but if a problem is created, then there is no solution." He added that in the last 10 years, no tourist visiting the Valley had been harmed.

He said Kashmiris were "enterprising" people and lauded the role of Sarhad in supporting youths from the state by making them self-reliant.

Gade said the Pune University was willing to contribute its expertise to the development of educational institutions in Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir's renowned filmmaker Bashir Badgami and noted theatre personality MK Raina were also felicitated at the festival.

On the occasion, Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said wealth and property of a nation were meaningless if there was no "bonding of hearts", adding that common people and women combated terrorism in Kashmir.

Raina, who praised the work of Sanjay Nahar of Sarhad, said Pune was the first city that helped in educational rehabilitation of youths from the Valley.

J&K tourism director Talat Parvez said it was "heartening" to see the 'Heritage of Kashmir' festival being organised at Shanwar Wada, a historical monument of the Peshwa era in Maharashtra.

The highlights of the festival included 'Band Pather, a cultural programme comprising traditional folk dance and music, which enthralled the audience.

A telefilm on the life of Kashmiri saint-poetess Habba Khatun was also screened at the festival, inaugurated by city mayor Chanchala Kodre.