German Ambassador Willing To Attend Parallel Show

German Ambassador Willing To Attend Parallel Show

3 September 2013
Greater Kashmir
Arif Shafi Wani

Srinagar: German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner Tuesday expressed his willingness to attend the parallel concert Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir being organized by a civil society group in Srinagar on September 7. “Culture is always welcome. In case the cultural event at Municipal Park takes place, I would welcome to be invited,” Steiner, who is the chief organizer of Zubin Mehta show, told Greater Kashmir. Steiner on Tuesday took stock of the preparations for the Zubin Mehta concert at famous Shalimar garden here. Steiner met and interacted with Kashmiri musicians who are being trained in classical Kashmiri songs. “He arrived at Shalimar garden today and was briefed by the authorities about security, seating and other arrangements for the concert,” a government official, looking after the arrangements, said. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had visited Shalimar Garden Saturday for on-the-spot review of the arrangements for the controversial concert scheduled to be held on September 7. Pertinently, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for complete strike on the day while several other separatist leaders, including Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq objected to the cultural show. “The concert will help get Kashmir recognition globally and pave the way for the people here to get connected with the world. We think Kashmir deserves recognition for its culture and history. It is a concert for the people of Kashmir. Kashmiris have not been acknowledged so far. The response we get from common Kashmiris is fantastic,” Steiner said. “We had a meeting with number of people, it was really good. I met a famous poet Rehman Rahi. He translated one of the most complicated philosophers of Germany into Kashmiri. We have these links. There are incredible links between Germany and Kashmir. I feel very encouraged by the positive response we received,” Steiner had earlier stated. Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) is organizing a parallel concert to protest Zubin Mehta’s concert ‘Ehsas-e-Kashmir’ (Feeling of Kashmir). JKCCS has titled the event as Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir (reality of Kashmir). “Germany is a supporter of European Union’s resolution on mass graves and disappearances in Kashmir that was rejected by India, so German Ambassador is morally and ethically bound to keep away from the so-called goodwill events with India,” CCS stated in a statement. JKCCS has set the venue for its parallel protest concert at Municipal Park, nearly five kilometres from Shalimar Garden, the venue of Zubin’s concert. “JKCSS event would put a limelight on Kashmir issue and the crimes perpetrated on human rights violations in the region by government forces. National and foreign media will be present to cover Zubin Mehta’s show. We will get a chance to highlight what is happening in Kashmir. Before they feel Kashmir, they should know its realities.” Haqeeqat-e Kashmir will be held a few hours before Mehta’s concert at 5 in the evening,” JKCCS said. Earlier in the day, German Ambassador visited Shalimar Garden to take stock of the preparations for the concert at Shalimar Garden where officials told him that no activity was done that would vandalize the heritage. “Temporary stage for show is being set up without harming the nature,” officials said.