Zubin Mehta concert won’t affect Kashmir issue: Omar

‘No Problem If Civil Society Organizes Parallel Show’

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Sep 2: Supporting the western classical music concert by Zubin Mehta, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said the September 7 program won’t affect the Kashmir issue.
Talking to media persons on the sidelines of a function at Raj Bhavan here, Omar said everybody has his own political view. “Music is in our culture. Projecting it in a way that it is against Kashmiriyat or outside its ambit is absolutely wrong. As far as (separatists’ claim) that Kashmir issue would be diluted by the concert, either their leadership is weak or Kashmir issue is weaker to an extent that a musician can affect it simply through his music,” Omar said.
“If a musician can change the nature of Kashmir issue, then it won’t remain an issue anymore.”
Omar said things like concert by Zubin Mehta should not be linked with politics. “It is German Embassy’s effort to give exposure to Kashmiri people, which is a good thing,” he said.
Despite stiff opposition by both factions of Hurriyat Conference, stage is set for the concert in Shalimar Garden here on September 7. At least 1500 guests including VIPs would attend the concert where Mehta and his orchestra comprising 100 musicians would play Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky.
Germany’s Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner, in an interview with Greater Kashmir last month asserted that the concert was purely a cultural event and completely apolitical.
When asked whether the government would allow the parallel concert organized by civil society groups on the same day, the Chief Minister said it was not for him to decide what has to be allowed and what not.
“That’s something on which the local administration will take a call. Personally, I am not against such shows or events. We have a democratic set up. I have no problem with what they have organized. It has to be a peaceful sort of exercise,” Omar said.
Civil society groups have organized a parallel concert- Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir: A Journey of Counter Memory, A Cultural Aesthetic Tribute to the Resilience and Struggle of the People of Jammu & Kashmir - on the same day at 12 noon at Municipal Park near GPO Srinagar.
“On Sept 7, we invite EVERYONE — and not just a handpicked 1500 — to come join us. We invite EVERYONE to send in cultural aesthetic texts: poetry, paintings, photographs, multimedia, performance art, songs, et cetera,” the group posted on Facebook.
About the role of JK Police in curbing militancy in the State, Omar said in militancy-infested areas like North East and JK, other forces may succeed in curbing violence but when it comes to eradicating militancy completely, JK Police has played a major role in the State.
Omar, however, refused to say whether JK Police is getting local support in dealing with militants. “I don’t want to go into the operational things,” he said.
Replying to a query whether the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan should meet on the sidelines of UN conference in New York, Omar said, “It would be good if they meet. So far their meeting hasn’t been finalized. I believe that issues we have with Pakistan can only be resolved by talks.”

Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 3 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST




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