Pakistan rejects India’s plan to hold G20 meeting in Srinagar

Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) speaks to the media at the opening of the budget session of Parliament in New Delhi on January 31, 2023. — AFP
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) speaks to the media at the opening of the budget session of Parliament in New Delhi on January 31, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Following India’s decision to hold a meeting of Group-20 (G20) in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Pakistan on Tuesday expressed its “strong indignation”.

The Foreign Office registered its concerns days after Narendra Modi-led government announced the holding of the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar on May 22-24, 2023.

“Scheduling of two other meetings of a consultative forum on youth affairs (Y-20) in Leh and Srinagar in the IIOJK is equally disconcerting,” the FO said.

Pakistan said that India’s irresponsible move is the latest in a series of self-serving measures to perpetuate its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir in sheer disregard of the UN Security Council resolutions and in violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law.

“Pakistan vehemently condemns these moves,” the Foreign Office said in a statement released in this regard.

Such events, the FO said, cannot hide the reality of Jammu and Kashmir being an internationally recognised dispute that has remained on the agenda of the UNSC for over seven decades nor could such activities divert the international community’s attention from India’s brutal suppression of the people of IIOJK including illegal attempts to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory.

The statement added that India is again exploiting its membership in an important international grouping for advancing its self-serving agenda by holding G20 events in IIOJK.

“For a country that has a grandiose vision about itself and its place in the world, India has once more demonstrated that it is unable to act as a responsible member of the international community,” the statement read.

India ignores protests of China and Pakistan

According to a report published in The News, Pakistan has sensitised G20 member countries about its reservation pertaining to Indian design to host a meeting on tourism in Srinagar.

Pakistan has reminded the countries that Srinagar is part of the disputed area and it is an internationally acclaimed fact since Indian occupation of certain parts of Kashmir is on the agenda of the UNSC, hence no such international gathering could be held in established disputed areas.

Well-placed sources told the publication that India has fixed the date for the G20 meeting in Srinagar, ignoring the protests of China and Pakistan. India updated its G20 calendar on Friday, saying the working group meeting on tourism would be held in Srinagar from May 22 to 24.

Earlier, New Delhi had announced to host several meetings including in Run of Kutch adjoining Rajasthan.

Pakistan and China both had objected to the Indian design to hold the meetings in disputed areas but now the Indians have announced the schedule.

The sources said that Pakistan is ascertaining details and will agitate the matter on international forums. It is understood that Pakistan and China are also in touch with each other about the matter.

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