Zubin's Concert: Geelani Seeks Merkel's Intervention

Zubin's Concert: Geelani Seeks Merkel's Intervention

On the eve of Zubin Mehta's music concert, chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani today sought intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to stop the show.

"...We hope you would immediately intervene to stop this concert as it is a very unfortunate development in relation to the future of peace in this region," Geelani said in a two-page letter addressed to Merkel.

Geelani said Kashmiris are "dismayed and disappointed" by the decision of the German Embassy in India to organise a concert in Kashmir as part of "broader engagements" with Kashmiri people.

"Despite the concerns expressed by Kashmiris in the media, the German Embassy decided to go ahead with the concert...," Geelani said in the letter, which was released to media this afternoon.

He said Kashmiri people had high hopes that Germany after reunification would play a meaningful and responsible role in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute for an enduring peace in South Asia.

"But the decision of German Embassy to organise this music concert against the wishes of the Kashmiri people has forced me to seek your intervention," the Hurriyat leader said.

He said Kashmir and Kashmiri culture go back thousands of years and Kashmiris are eager for cultural exchanges and dialogue with the rest of the world.

"But when culture is used to whitewash human rights abuses, dilute Kashmir's disputed status and project a false image of a wounded Kashmir to the world, it pains us that the great German people are being made complicit by India in such a blatant distortion of the truth," he said.

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