Natural to hold G20 meetings in J&K, Ladakh: MEA

Reacts to Pak criticism saying both inalienable parts of India
Spokesman of the MEA, Government of India, Arindam Bagchi.
Spokesman of the MEA, Government of India, Arindam Bagchi. File/ ANI

New Delhi: Rejecting Pakistan's criticism, India Thursday said G20 meetings are being organised in the entire country and hence it was "natural" to hold meetings in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as "these are inalienable parts of India".

Pakistan recently slammed India's decision to host a G20 meeting in Srinagar and parts of Kashmir as an "irresponsible move". "G20 meetings are being organized in entire India, in all cities and parts of India. It is therefore natural to hold the meetings in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh because these are inalienable parts of India," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during the MEA Weekly Media Briefing on Thursday.

"That is what I would like to say. The meetings are being held in all parts of India, that is our natural response," the MEA official spokesperson said.

Indian announced Srinagar as the venue for the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting scheduled to take place from May 22 to 24.

Bagchi on Thursday while answering a question about whether China, and Pakistan will be attending the SCO Defence Ministers' meet, the Foreign Minister's meeting in India, said: "We send invitations to everyone. We are expecting everyone to attend. We'll let you know about the participation."

The media recently reported that the government of Jammu and Kashmir is making all the necessary arrangements for the upcoming G20 summit, which will take place in May this year.

In such a situation, the meeting is considered to be very important from the point of view of tourism and the tourism department is taking various measures in this regard. Along with the publicity campaign, various tourist places are being made attractive.

According to the J-K Director of Tourism Fazl Al-Huseeb, efforts are being made to promote Kashmir better with such measures, as this meeting is very important for promoting the tourism sector.

He said, "The facilities are being further improved at the important tourist places here and much work has been taken up to make them more attractive. Under this link, 75 new places in Jammu and Kashmir to develop the tourism sector are being brought on the tourist map and all possible basic facilities are being provided for the tourists to access these new places."

Among the 15 institutions in the country chosen to host Youth-20 and Civil-20 events, which are being organised in connection with India's G20 Presidency, the University of Kashmir (KU) is one of them. It's for the first time in the past 70 years that J&K would be hosting an international event like G20.

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