Srinagar: The United States government on Tuesday
organised a cultural event in Kashmir after a gap of nearly 22
years to promote people-to-people exchanges.
"It is for the first time in 22 years that American
Centre is doing a cultural event in Kashmir," the Cultural
Attache at the American Embassy in New Delhi, David Mees, told
The US government had issued travel advisories for Jammu
and Kashmir and limited its activities in the state in early
1990s after eruption of militancy.
The reappearance of the US cultural activity in Kashmir
was marked by interaction of US astronaut and two-time space
traveller, Marry Ellen Weber, with students at the Kothibagh
girls` higher secondary school here where she shared her
experiences about the space travel with the students.
"This is also the first time that the (US) State
department has asked Mary Allen Weber to be a speaker for us,"
He said the focus of the event is to promote
"people-to-people" exchanges and to create contact between
Kashmiris and Americans.
"She did not speak as a government official. She does
not work for NASA any longer... We did bring her (Weber) here
to represent the American people," the US official said.
Mees said the security situation has improved in Kashmir.
"There is a hunger for contact with outside world and
exchange of ideas," he said.