Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama who is currently on a visit to Leh in connection with an annual Buddhist function.Addressing a large gathering here today, the Chief Minister highlighted the pluralistic ethos of Jammu and Kashmir and described it as the abode of different faiths and cultures. She said people living in amity and brotherhood is the specialty of the state and underlined the need for strengthening the bonds among various sections of the society.Mehbooba Mufti praised Dalai Lama for his recent statement in which he had criticized the elements who were out to label Muslims as terrorists. The Dalai Lama had asked people to follow the path of harmony and amity with each other. She said the statement from such a towering personality was need of the hour and it reflects the unparallel spiritual stature of the Dalai Lama.The Chief Minister wished Dalai Lama a long life and good health. She hoped that he would continue to visit the State in future and bless its people.
The Chief Minister said it is the intention of her Government to attract more and more tourists to Ladakh and market it appropriately in the tourism market. She said she has proposed to have annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Leh which would increase the tourist footfall in the region by a great measure. She appreciated the people of Leh for maintaining a hygienic environment despite heavy tourist rush.The Dalai Lama in his address expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for her visit. He appreciated her massive public outreach saying that he is of the belief that she can get the State out of the difficulties with her sincerity, dedication and zeal.Minister for Cooperatives, Tsering Dorjey; legislators, Nawang Rigzin Jora and Deldan Namgyal; CEC, LAHDC, Dr Sonam Dawa; Executive Councillors, LAHDC and devotees of Dalai Lama from across the world were present on the occasion.Later, the Chief Minister had a one-to-one interaction with the Dalai Lama.
Several deputations also met the Chief Minister during her day long stay here. These included deputations from political parties, social groups and people from some distant areas.A deputation from Nubra sought bringing the scenic spots in the region into the focus of the tourist industry. A deputation from Changthang also demanded pacing up of developmental works in the area.Another deputation demanded posting of adequate staff at various administrative units in the district so that Government functioning in these far flung areas is streamlined.Earlier on her arrival, the Chief Minister was given a warm reception by members of the local civil society. She was presented the tradition khattak by the people as a token of love.Minister for Cooperatives, Tsering Dorjey; Deputy Commissioner, Ramaswami; Superintendent of Police, Udaybhaskar and other senior officers received the Chief Minister at the airport.