Actor John Abraham on Saturday called upon filmmakers to concentrate on Kashmir's positivity and beauty instead of its politics, saying it is the responsibility of the film industry to make sure they show the state in a positive light.
"Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places in the world, which needs to be presented in a good way. I have read about Kashmir and know its history since 1947.
"I know the situation and how things are here. I understand everything. I understand the political process also. Instead of concentrating on politics in Kashmir, the filmmakers must concentrate on its beauty. We must promote the culture of Kashmir," John told reporters at Gulmarg.
The actor is currently shooting at the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district for espionage thriller "Romeo Akbar Walter" ("RAW"), which also stars Jackie Shroff.
John said as a producer he will make sure that the state is shown in a positive light in his films.
"I am also a producer and have produced films in the past. I will start with myself. I will make sure Kashmir is shown in a positive light and that is my responsibility. I will also make sure that film industry presents Kashmir the way Kashmir it needs to be presented to the world," he said.
The 45-year-old actor also urged budding travellers to explore the beauty of Kashmir and brush aside the tension which, he said, has only added to a negative perception among the masses.
"People think that Kashmir is a dangerous place to visit. But I am in Gulmarg right now and enjoying its beauty. It is a wonderful place and an absolutely fantastic one. Every traveller should visit this place and enjoy its beauty. They should also promote it as Heaven on Earth," John said.
The actor also took part in a plantation drive and planted saplings near St Marry's Church.
He, however, expressed dismay over the massive deforestation that has taken place in the valley and said he wanted to participate in the plantation drive to send a message that preserving the environment was very important.
"It is important to plant trees and make this place more beautiful. Hoteliers here have already started plantation drive and they have planted three lakh trees here. The beautiful thing in Kashmir is that the survival rate of the plants is 90 percent after they are sown," John said.
The actor also appealed to the state government to improve infrastructure at the resort and also keep the place clean.
"The place is very beautiful but roads, facilities and other infrastructure need to be improved. I urge state government to improve infrastructure and facilities here. The place is so beautiful and but you need access to reach the place," he said.
Director Tourism, Kashmir, Tasaduq Jeelani, who also participated in the plantation drive with John, said the department is trying to attract more filmmakers to the state to counter the negative perception and to promote Kashmir at a bigger platform.
He said more crews are visiting Kashmir and the department is providing them all the assistance here so as to encourage the filmmakers to shoot their movies in the state.
Jeelani also said the department is embarking on massive tourism promotional campaign by organsing road shows, participating in travel marts outside the state.
"We will also invite media persons from different print and electronic media of different states of the country and show them how tourists are enjoying here and how conducive Kashmir is for travelling," he said.