Merkel’s ‘Not Sustainable, Not Good’ on Kashmir: Did She Mean ‘Give Kashmiris Back Their Dignity’?

DESPARDES — “Not sustainable and not good,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel while criticizing New Delhi’s clampdown on Kashmir.

Merkel’s statement camedays after a 30-member EU parliamentarians delegation (mostly from the right-wing) visited the locked-down valley at Prime Minister Modi’s invitation.

Observers say the visit was ‘arranged and managed’ amid a slow but a climbup in criticisms against the Indian Prime Minister’s gambit.

“We are going to see the situation in Kashmir, at least what they want to show us”, said Thierry Mariani, a Euro MP for France’s far-right National Rally, to AFP.

The German Chancellor’s (on visit to India) terse statement also came ahead of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall next week– a poignant reminder exercised annually, that days of practicing ‘iron curtain’ politics and geopolitics is a square peg in a round hole in an emerging new world order that seeks globalization.

“Who knows better than Germans the price of separation,” said NY-based Agha Saleh, Cause Ambassador of ‘Kashmir Seeks Attention’ humanitarian campaign launched by Humanity Alive 360.

Since August 5, “the Himalayan valley has taken a Guernica canvas, and is like a stranded taxicab on the Autobahn with headlights off with no help coming, said a Kashmir observer. Kashmiris must be given back their dignity and honor,” said Saleh.

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PM Modi’s government made the unexpected move to annex Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh after abrogating their special status– in clear violation of 1948 UN Security Council Resolution which calls for plebiscite in the disputed region– a view generally upheld in the international community.

Merkel ends her trip to Delhi Saturday with the announcement of a billion euro investment into green projects in the country and placed climate change at the center of her talks in India. Still, her candid observation rings a bell within and outside her country.

Merkel’s statement also loud comes on the heel of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech in the UN that the world ought to look at things beyond the lens of markets and economy.

Germany has a huge immigrant population, mostly of Arab-Muslim descent. It is still India’s most important trading partner within the European Union.

Unlike the silence among some regional statesmen Khan had alluded to in his speech, Merkel’s one-liner is matter-of-factly. Her nation is a boiling pot based on inclusiveness amid diversity post Berlin.

South of Germany across the Himalayan Range, three months have elapsed in disturbing ‘eerie silence’– more than 8 million people are still under siege in the Kashmir valley considered a nuclear flashpoint between warring neighbors India and Pakistan.

The Muslim-majority flashpoint is completely cut-off from the rest of the world. Media persons are not allowed; UN officials, foreign diplomats, and observers are also not allowed to visit Kashmir. American Congressmen were denied access. Human Rights Organizations were also denied visit to the locked-down valley.

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