Experts believe that the present presidency of G20 gives an opportunity to India to host a large number of nations to have firsthand experience of the normalized situation in J&K thereby getting Global approval, which may give set back to Pakistan as it has been trying to project it as most disturbed and troubled state. India is working on the principle of Seeing and Believing as it does not want to hide anything from the world. Second, more than fifty percent of the population of this hilly state is involved in tourism which contributed over 10 percent of GDP to the state’s economy after Covid era. Pakistan’s participation would have given a chance to its representative to see everything on the ground but it has decided to stay away which is most unfortunate. Pakistan and China had issued a controversial statement about Kashmir after the SCO meeting held recently in new Delhi which was rebuffed by India in wrong words.
Review of security arrangements: While giving the top priority to security of the participants from different nations, P.K. Mishra, principal secretary to prime minister Narender Modi recently held the meeting of senior officials of commerce, tourism, environment, finance, etc., to get feedback about various arrangements linked to the crucial meetings being held in Srinagar and Ladakh. Union home minister, Amit Shah also held discussions with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu & Kashmir LG, Manoj Sinha and other senior officials of the MHA including the Home Secretary, Director (IB), RAW Chief and other senior officials from UT of Jammu & Kashmir thereby plugging every loophole, if any. The delegates will enjoy a new Gondola ride, one of the highest in Asia, amidst the pine trees and serene beauty of hills.
India rebuffs Pakistan and China
India has brushed aside Pakistan’s objections saying that Jammu and Kashmir is the integral and inalienable part of India and abrogation of article 370 has closed this chapter for ever which has been recognized by the international community also. External affairs ministry has made it clear that as head of G20, India is organizing 200 such meetings in different parts of the country which will culminate in the assemblage of members of the group in Sept. or so this year.
UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, the Indian Mission in Geneva had alleged that human rights violations are blatant in Jammu and Kashmir hence G20 should not hold meetings at such places but the government of India described it as unwarranted and unfounded. The latest attempt was by Pakistan Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on the sidelines of the Goa Foreign Ministers’ meet who raked up the issue but it was outrightly rejected by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Indian government is clear about such objections as a nation like Pakistan has got nothing to do with G20 and meetings are being held in all states in the country and Jammu and Kashmir is one of them. Jai Shankar rebuffed Pakistan as it can not be debated and especially a country which has got nothing to do with G20.
Negativity supported by China: Pakistan has objected to the holding of G20 tourism working group meeting in Srinagar because it will focus the entire world’s attention on this vibrant state. Pakistan strongly objected and described to hold G 20 meetings in Srinagar as a violation of United Nations resolutions because it is aimed at perpetuating its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. Even China, a close ally of Pakistan had supported the objections G 20 meetings in Srinagar hence stayed away from G20 meeting on research and innovation held at Itangar, capital of Arunachal Pradesh. China said none should not complicate the situation in the region through any unilateral moves.
(Writer is political analyst and senior journalist based in Shimla)
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.