Doyen of Kashmir Travel Industry Dead

SRINAGAR: Nazir Bakhshi – the founder owner of Shiraz Travels and renowned businessman involved in travel industry- breathed his last on the 1st of November, 2015.
Born in 1940, Bakhshi was the doyen of travel and tourism in Kashmir. He not only promoted Kashmir as a first class destination of pristine and sublime beauty but also encouraged the return of Bollywood in Kashmir after the post 90’s interregnum.
Bakhshi got educated from St Xaviers’ in Mumbai, where he met and became friend with film director Manmohan Desai. The friendship endured and turned to be eventful: when Bakhshi launched his travel agency, film units became his major clients. His first venture was the handling of and assistance with Prakash Mehra’s film unit when he was filming Himalaya Se Ooncha in 1973. His USP was identification of locations for films in Kashmir.
Bakhshi was great friends with star like Amitabh Bachhan, Vinod Khanna, Shammi Kapoor, Rekha and Jitendra to name a few. Notably Bakhshi brought his good friend Yash Chopra to Kashmir and few years back and convinced him to film portions of the movie Jab tak hai Jaan in Kashmir. Bakhshi believed that highlighting Kashmir in Bollywood movies would lead to a ripple and amplifying effect and draw tourists to Kashmir.
The death of Nazir Bakhshi has been widely condoled by a cross section of Kashmiri society.
Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has expressed grief over the demise.
In his message of condolence, Mufti Sayeed paid rich tributes to late Nazir Bakhshi and highlighted his contribution towards promotion of tourism in the state. “In his death, J&K has lost a stalwart, who played a key role in reviving the state’s travel industry which had suffered a huge setback during the years of turmoil,” he said.
The Chief Minister, accompanied by Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, drove to the residence of the deceased at Sonwar, where he participated in the Nimaz-e-Jinaza. 
The Chief Minister expressed solidarity with the bereaved family members and prayed to Almighty Allah to give them courage to bear this irreparable loss. He also prayed for peace to the departed soul.
National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Working President Mr. Omar Abdullah also expressed grief over the demise of stalwart of Kashmiri tourism industry,
“Nazir Bakhshi Sahab’s role in reviving the Tourism industry here post-turmoil is pivotal. He was a stalwart of the Tourism industry and his contribution will be remember for ages to come. I offer my deepest and sincere condolences to his family in this moment of loss and grief”, NC President Dr. Farooq Abdullah said in his message.
Omar Abdullah also expressed solidarity with Bakhshi family in their hour of grief and prayed for peace to the departed soul. “Nazir Bakhshi was a stalwart of the Tourism Industry in Kashmir and I worked with him very closely for many years. He was a great salesman & did a lot to rebuild Kashmir as a destination after the turmoil of the past two decades. He will be sorely missed – both professionally and especially personally. May Allah grant him Jannah”, Mr. Omar Abdullah said in his message.
NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, NC Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu besides various party leaders and functionaries have also expressed grief and sorrow over the demise of Mr. Nazir Bakhshi in their respective condolence messages.

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