Germany may modify travel advisory on Kashmir

June 22nd, 2011 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 22 (IANS) Germany will seriously consider modifying its travel adivosry on the Kashmir Valley.

German ambassador Thomas Matussek told IANS: “There is wonderful peace in the valley. I find it possible for our government to seriously modify its travel advisory on visits to the valley by German nationals.

“It is possible to have the advisory modified and we shall work in that direction,” he added.

The German advisory cautions its nationals not to visit the Kashmir Valley, where a separatist movement has raged since 1989. There are no advisories on visits to Ladakh and Jammu regions.

Matussek said he had visited the valley in the early 1980s.

“I find the conditions today as peaceful and excellent as they had been here in the early 1980s”, he said.

The ambassador also hinted at possibilities of providing German assistance to local industries.

“Yes, we would like to cooperate with the local industries like fruit processing and packaging, sustainable forest industry and renewable energy resources.

“We are currently helping in exploration of renewable energy in the Ladakh region.

“We are also associated with heritage preservation in that region. If all goes well, it should be possible for my country to cooperate in educational and cultural exchanges with the valley based institutions at a large level.”

The ambassador wondered why Kashmir Tourism was not taking part at the Berlin fair.

“Berlin Tourism Fair (ITB) is the largest tourism fair in the world. I would request the chief minister to make it possible for the Kashmir tourist industry to participate in the fair the next time,” he said.

Matussek arrived on a two-day visit to the Kashmir Valley Wednesday.

He called on Governor N.N. Vohra and discussed the situation in the valley and possibilities of German assistance to help the local economy.

He will meet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday.

“I will also meet Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, some representatives of the Kashmiri Pandits and office bearers of the local chambers of commerce and industry,” he said.

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