The German diplomat Monday said Kashmir issue is a “very complex” and India and Pakistan have inherited this very difficult and complex situation and the country wishes that the two nuclear armed neighbours resolve it through dialogue.
Talking to Rising Kashmir on sidelines of the signing ceremony of conservation project for OontKadal-Camel hump-shaped bridge-in Shalimar garden, Deputy Head of German Mission in New Delhi, Dr. Jasper Wieck said the situation in Kashmir is worse than 2013 when German embassy in collaboration with Government of India (GoI) had organised Zubin Mehta’s music concert in Srinagar.
He said today authorities would very much advice not to conduct such a concert in the Valley.
The German diplomat said for the situation to improve, a lot is in the hands of people of Kashmir and India and Pakistan leadership.
Asked whether Germany would play a role in helping India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue, he said, “Germany would not like to play a mediator between India and Pakistan. We cannot show up with a master plan on how to solve the Kashmir problem”.
“We have been encouraging India and Pakistan to restart dialogue but then we are also conscious if it doesn’t materialize like it didn’t in New York, it is something for the two stakeholders to ponder over,” he said.
Terming Kashmir issue a “very complex”, Jasper said, “India and Pakistan have inherited this very difficult and complex situation. We only wish that they resolve it through dialogue.”
He said Germany hopes and wishes that the people in the Valley can find a way which makes living in this part of the world more comfortable, secure and more open for trade and investments from aboard.
The Deputy German envoy said Germany doesn’t make big judgements on prevalent situation in Kashmir from abroad.
“We rely on the sources we have on the spot,” he said adding, “Germany is indeed concerned that they aren’t able to lift the travel advisories.”
“We very much will like to lift the advisories once the situation allows us to do so. The situation as we understand is worse than the past and sometimes it has been better also,” he said.
Jasper said the German embassy is responsible for German citizens and if they get into trouble then that would cause enormous problems for them.
“Still an advice is an advice. We are a free country and our nationals go wherever they want to,” he said.
Stating that Germany would like tourism sector to flourish in the Valley, he said, “There are security concerns. We have to think about. But these advisories aren’t carved into stones and can be lifted when the situation allows.”
“We are monitoring the situation very closely and hope the situation in the Valley improves soon,” he said.
On plans of German Embassy investing in other sectors in Kashmir, Jasper said Germany considers itself facilitators. “If a company from Srinagar is interested in some trade and investment, we will connect them with relevant people.”
He said Germany’s Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, which has 6000 companies, can help identify the exact potential partner in Germany for facilitating businesses.
Earlier, while speaking during the signing ceremony of the project for conservation of OontKadal in collaboration with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) J&K chapter, the German diplomat said the grant of Rs 32 lakhs is being provided because the mutual admiration for the beauty of OontKadal and other cultural sites unifies and unites people across class, religious and regional distinctions.
“All this leads to peace building. It contributes to mutual understanding, which is fruitful for any region particularly in the Kashmir,” he said adding helping in restoring cultural and heritage sites would also boost tourism in Kashmir, which in turn would improve the socio-economic situation.
“If people from India and beyond visit Kashmir, it will create more jobs. Also, the work projects will create jobs including employing skill-based labour. The improvement in the Socio-economic situation is better for the Asia-Pacific region,” Jasper said.
He said by helping in restoration of the heritage sites, common cultural heritage is also defined.
The Deputy envoy said Germany has invested over Rs 8.5 crore across 50 cultural and heritage sites in India including the restoration of ceiling of the Black Pavilion inside the Shalimar garden.
“Our grant for preservation of OontKadal is a sign and an act of solidarity with the people in the Valley,” he added.