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Omar pleads for Kashmir's image change, calls for investments

Sunday, January 10, 2010 09:25:11 PM, UNI

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NRI investors in Kerala to push for state’s development

New Delhi: Striking an emotional chord with the Indian diaspora at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today urged people to visit his state and see for themselves that it was not a dangerous place as it was perceived to be.


Admitting that ''we have not turned out terrorism completely yet'', Abdullah noted, ''but there are only certain areas that might be problematic.''


''If violence goes by a different name, it does not stop you from investing in those states that are plagued by Naxalism or Maoism. But if it is terrorism, then it is a problem,'' he stated, addressing the Skill Development session in the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here.


''I am not at the summit to scout for investments, but wanted to change the perception that my state is a dangerous place,'' he stressed, making an impassioned plea to the delegates to go to his state, at least for a holiday.


He said Jammu and Kashmir was more than just an incredibly beautiful place and assured the NRIs that it has a huge potential for investments.


There were opportunities for public-private partnerships in skill development in the five Universities in the state.


''Two new Central universities are coming up apart from a number of polytechnic institutes, where educationists and investors could play a part,'' he stated.


Urging the investors to give his state a "fair chance", the young Chief Minister observed that J&K may not have the capability to rub shoulders against the big brothers like Maharashtra and Gujarat with regard to investments, but it should be given an opportunity vis-a-vis Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and even Punjab.


He also pointed out that the state did not have the advantage like Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh of a huge expatriate population whose talent pool it could tap.























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