Militarized normalcy: India to maintain IIOJK among likely venues for pre-G20 meetings next year

New Delhi, September 23 (KMS): As part of its ploy to project normalcy in occupied Kashmir and deflect the international community’s attention from its grim political and human rights situation, the BJP-led Indian government is likely to maintain the occupied territory as one of the venues for meetings that will be held ahead of the G20 summit in Delhi.

More than 200 meetings are reportedly scheduled across India ahead of the G20 Summit on September 9 and 10, 2023. Besides occupied Kashmir, the list of possible destinations for the meetings includes Siliguri in West Bengal state, Rann of Kutch in Gujarat state and Goa. Reportedly, deliberations in this regard were held during the State Tourism Ministers’ Conference in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

According to an international media report, while pre-summit meetings in parts of India will not be an issue for the participating countries or India’s neighbors, keeping Kashmir as one of the venues for the meetings may create some ripples through diplomatic circles.

Pakistan had earlier rejected attempts by India to hold G20-related meetings in IIOJK after news reports indicated that Delhi was planning to use the occupied territory for the purpose. “Contemplating the holding of any G20-related meeting/event in Jammu and Kashmir, in utter disregard of the globally acknowledged disputed status of the territory, is a travesty that the international community cannot accept under any circumstances,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad had said in June.

China had also backed Pakistan’s statement in a press conference held by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian in Beijing. The spokesperson had said, “We call on all major economies to focus on steady recovery of the world economy, avoid politicizing relevant cooperation and make positive contributions to improving global economic governance.” “China’s position on the Kashmir issue is consistent and clear-cut. The Kashmir issue, a dispute left from the past, should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement,” Zhao said.

The G20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, US — and EU.

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