ISLAMABAD:Pakistan has categorically rejected India’s move to host the meeting of the G-20 Tourism Working Group in Srinagar on 22nd to 24th May this year.
The Foreign Office in a statement on Thursday said that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory. The dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for over seven decades.
In that backdrop, India hosted this Meeting in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) in complete disregard of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, principles of the UN Charter and international law.
The Foreign Office said holding the G-20 meeting in a disputed territory is a betrayal of the people of IIOJK. For the last seven decades, they have been waiting for the international community to pay attention to their plight and to bring an end to the occupation and human rights violations.
The statement further said that tourism and development cannot be promoted by holding the local population hostage and denying them their rights and freedoms. By holding the G-20 meeting in Srinagar, India cannot hide the reality of its illegal occupation of IIOJK and oppression of the Kashmiri people.
India’s facade of normalcy in Kashmir is met by the harsh reality that IIOJK remains one of the most militarized zones on the planet. The Foreign Office said the extreme security measures, arbitrary arrests and harassment of the local population around the Srinagar meeting refute the claims of normalcy in the colonized territory.
It said India has clearly failed in hiding the reality in IIOJK behind a veneer of normalcy, as demonstrated by low-level representation and the absence of a number of important invitees at the Srinagar meeting.
The Foreign Office appreciated China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Egypt and Oman for not attending the Srinagar meeting. These countries have stood for international law and for the primacy of the UN Charter.
The G-20 was established, primarily, to address global financial and economic issues. By holding this meeting in the occupied territory, India has politicized yet another international forum, and is exploiting its position as the current Chair to advance its self-serving agenda.
India should instead provide unhindered access to the international media and independent human rights organizations to report on the situation in IIOJK.
It must bring an end to the repression it has unleashed there, agree to the establishment of the UN Commission of Inquiry and hold a UN supervised plebiscite for the people of Kashmir to determine their own future.
The statement said that Pakistan, for its part, will continue to extend its moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri people’s just struggle for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination, as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.