Angela Merkel to arrive in India on Oct. 31 with ministerial delegation, to hold talks with PM Modi

Article 370 an internal matter but any restrictions there should be lifted as soon as possible, says Ambassador

October 30, 2019 03:09 pm | Updated June 11, 2020 10:39 am IST - New Delhi

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. File

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. File

Kashmir may come up for discussion during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s November 1-3 visit to India. The visit is one of the biggest incoming trips after the return of the government of Narendra Modi last May.

“Both leaders can discuss anything so this issue [Kashmir] may come up. We fully support the EU position in the matter, as was detailed by Federica Mogherini. Our position remains that Article 370 is an internal matter for India, but we support dialogue between India and Pakistan, and any restrictions in Kashmir should be lifted as soon as possible,” said Ambassador of Germany Walter J. Lindner on Wednesday.

Chancellor Merkel will be accompanied by officials of 15 ministries and a high-power business delegation. The envoy said both sides were expected to seal 20 agreements including on museum cooperation, football, agriculture, development and social security.

The visit comes two days after three German Members of European Parliament visited Kashmir in a controversial tour along with other MEPs. The Ambassador however pointed out that the visit was conducted in their private capacity.

The statement on possible mention of Kashmir came even as the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed “extreme concern” underlining that the Supreme Court of India had not acted promptly on petitions regarding habeas corpus and other fundamental rights.

“The undeclared curfew imposed by the authorities in the region was lifted from much of Jammu and Ladakh region within a few days, but is reportedly still in place in large parts of the Kashmir Valley, preventing the free movement of people, as well as hampering their ability to exercise their right to peaceful assembly, and restricting their rights to health, education and freedom of religion and belief," said a spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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