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July 5, 2012

Dress code suggestion for female tourists visiting Kashmir draws flak

     Srinagar: Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir, the fundamentalist religious group that suggested that women coming to Jammu and Kashmir should not wear revealing clothes to safeguard state’s traditions, has come under heavy fire from various quarters over its diktat. Jammu and Kashmir's Minister of Agriculture Ghulam Hassan told reporters here that there was no such tradition prevailing in the region. He added that such steps sends wrong signals across the world and would hamper tourism and hospitality industry, which has just started booming in the region. “Society of Jammu and Kashmir has never accepted the theory of people wearing particular dress. Such things send a wrong message to the society and it will definitely affect the tourism. People and those who are associated with tourism would never accept such a dress code,” Hassan said. Simran Kaur, a tourist from Punjab said that it would not be fair to impose such restrictions on the visiting tourists. “I would say that everybody has their own culture. We cannot ask Kashmiri people to change their dressing style if they visit Punjab . Our dressing style is our identity,” she said. Earlier on Wednesday, Counsel for the Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir , Zahid Ali said they would impose restrictions on how foreign tourists dress at tourist spots, though he added that the group was not asking tourists to adopt the Islamic dress code. He said the group is demanding the Department of Tourism not to encourage cultural aggression on the local traditions. The suggestion on dress code could impact the tourist influx in the state, where the separatists have already banned cinema halls.
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