After 22 Years, US Organises Cultural Event In Kashmir4 October 2011
New Delhi: The United States government today organised a cultural event in Kashmir after a gap of nearly 22 years to promote people-to-people exchanges. 'It is for the first time in 22 years that American Centre is doing a cultural event in Kashmir,' the Cultural Attache at the American Embassy in New Delhi, David Mees, told reporters here. The US government had issued travel advisories for Jammu and Kashmir and limited its activities in the state in early 1990s after eruption of militancy. The reappearance of the US cultural activity in Kashmir was marked by interaction of US astronaut and two-time space traveller, Marry Ellen Weber, with students at the Kothibagh girls' higher secondary school here where she shared her experiences about the space travel with the students. 'This is also the first time that the (US) State department has asked Mary Allen Weber to be a speaker for us,' Mees said. He said the focus of the event is to promote 'people-to-people' exchanges and to create contact between Kashmiris and Americans. 'She did not speak as a government official. She does not work for NASA any longer... We did bring her (Weber) here to represent the American people,' the US official said. Mees said the security situation has improved in Kashmir. 'There is a hunger for contact with outside world and exchange of ideas,' he said.