South Asia

Pakistan 'Vehemently' Condemns India's Decision to Hold a G20 Meeting in Srinagar

India has announced that a G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting will be held in Srinagar on May 22-24, while two other meetings of a consultative forum on youth affairs (Y-20) will be held in Leh and Srinagar.

New Delhi: Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Tuesday, April 11, expressed “strong indignation” after India updated its G20 calendar recently to include meetings in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir and Leh in Ladakh.

India assumed the rotational presidency of the grouping this year. The updated calendar involves a G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar on May 22-24, while two other meetings of a consultative forum on youth affairs (Y-20) will be held in Leh and Srinagar.

Reacting to the development, Pakistan’s MFA said that the “irresponsible move” by India 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”.

“Vehemently” condemning these moves, Pakistan said that such events “cannot hide the reality of Jammu and Kashmir being an internationally recognized dispute that has remained on the agenda of United Nations Security Council for over seven decades”.

The statement also condemned “India’s brutal suppression” of the people of the region and “illegal attempts to change [its] demographic composition”.

It said that by holding events in J&K, India is “again exploiting its membership of an important international grouping to advance its self-serving agenda”.

“For a country that has a grandiose vision about itself and its place in the world, India has repeatedly demonstrated that it is unable to act as a responsible member of the international community,” Pakistan’s MFA said.

According to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, the country’s MFA had in June last year “cautioned” G20 countries against accepting proposals from India to hold meetings in J&K, describing such moves as Delhi’s “attempt to legitimise its illegal control of the disputed region”.

The G20 is comprised of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkiye, the United Kingdom, the US and the European Union. India has invited guest countries Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the UAE.

A Times of India report quoted “official sources” as saying that there was never any doubt about holding G20 meetings in J&K, Ladakh or Arunachal Pradesh. “Preparations started for the meeting last year. G20 meetings are taking place in all 28 states and 8 Union territories. Both Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir are integral parts of India,” said a source.

Pakistan had already lobbied allies in the G20 like Saudi Arabia, Turkiye and China to stop the meeting in Srinagar, while Beijing had earlier objected to a meeting in Arunachal Pradesh last month.

The TOI report says that through the event in Srinagar, the “government will hope to convey to the world through the high-profile event that normalcy has returned in the Union territory”.