SRINAGAR, July 7: An “unexpected friend” has come to the rescue of Jamaat-e-Islami, which is facing severe criticism after the religious group asked tourists visiting the valley to follow a “proper dress code”.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Saturday that Jamaat-e-Islami had clarified that it had only appealed to tourists not to wear clothes which were not in line with the local ethos, and it had not threatened anyone.
“Jamaat-e-Islami J&K (Jammu and Kashmir) cautions people against the well designed vicious plans of the anti-Islamic forces who are working here tirelessly to deviate the Kashmiri Muslims from their religious ethos which are indispensable for their identity,” a spokesman of Jamaat said earlier this week.
But according to IANS Omar Abdullah said that the statement by Jamaat-e-Islami was hyped by the media.
“It is the media that is playing up the issue,” Omar Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Jammu.
Kashmir has been witnessing a record number of tourist arrivals this year, both domestic and foreign.
The tourism department says more than 400,000 tourists have visited the valley so far. This excludes the over-130,000 pilgrims who are here for the annual Amarnath Yatra.