Srinagar readies to host G-20 event as Pakistan sulks.(photo:IN) IANS
AHMED ALI FAYYAZ
IANS | April 11
With large scale preparations going on for the dignitaries who will arrive for the G-20 events to be held in the Kashmir valley, Pakistan has fired its first salvo at India hosting the meeting in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in a bid to vitiate the atmosphere.
Holding the group's Presidency, India is hosting a number of the G-20 events and group meetings across the country. The University of Kashmir is part of some G-20 programmes in coordination with some other universities, the UT and the Union government. G-20's second meeting of the Development Working Group was held at Kumarakom, Kerala, on 9 April. Different Working Groups are holding similar meetings all over the country.
For the Tourism Working Group, a grand meeting is scheduled at Srinagar Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre in Srinagar on 22-24 May, 2023. Arrangements have been made for the guests' visits to the Dachigam National Park and the world-famous tourist resort of Gulmarg. Officials said that almost all arrangements related to security and hospitality of the guests are being finalised.
Under the Government of India's Smart City Mission, the capital city of Srinagar is being spruced up at a large scale. Currently the face-lifting and remodelling works are in progress in Srinagar's Civil Lines where Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is dismantling the old iconic Bajaj Clock Tower and raising a fresh one with modern value additions.
Commissioner SMC, Athar Aamir Khan, has issued a public appeal, imploring the residents to contribute to the city's beautification ahead of the G-20 event in Srinagar. "It is an occasion for enhancing the reputation of the city as a famed tourist destination known for scenic beauty, traditional architecture and hospitality of the people. While the government is making necessary arrangements for the upliftment of the city, it is important that the citizens also play their part in sprucing up the city and making the event a grand success", said the SMC's appeal to the citizens.
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement on Tuesday in an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the scheduled G-20 meeting in Srinagar on 22-24 May.
"Pakistan expresses its strong indignation over India's decision to hold the G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar on 22-24 May 2023. Scheduling of two other meetings of a consultative forum on youth affairs (Y-20) in Leh and Srinagar in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) is equally disconcerting", reads the statements issued in Islamabad.
While criticising the scheduling of the three G-20 events in J&K and Ladakh, Islamabad has "yet again raked up the UN resolution of 1948-49.
"With its decision to host G-20 events in IIOJK, India is again exploiting its membership of an important international grouping for advancing its self�serving agenda. For a country that has a grandiose vision about itself and its place in the world, India has once more demonstrated that it is unable to act as a responsible member of the international community", the MFA statement said, claiming that J&K and Ladakh were "disputed" territories.
Officials in Jammu and New Delhi maintained that the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs would respond to the Pakistan statement later on Tuesday. They asserted that both, J&K and Ladakh, were the union territories under the Indian sovereignty and the only dispute was about Pakistan's illegal occupation on over 50 percent of the erstwhile State that had legitimately acceded to India in October 1947.
India is holding the Presidency of the Group-20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. The G-20 was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss global economic and financial issues. The group is responsible for bringing together the G-20 agenda in consultation with other members and in response to developments in the global economy. Its member countries represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade and about two-thirds of the world population.
The United States of America, The United Kingdom, China, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, India, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and The European Union are permanent members of G-20. Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE are its "guest countries".