China, Pakistan criticize India for hosting the event in disputed territory.
China decides not to participate in the forthcoming G20 tourism meeting set to be held in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Both China and Pakistan express disapproval towards India for organizing the event in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region that remains contested between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Pakistan announces its decision to boycott the G20 meeting, allegedly hosted by India in Jammu and Kashmir. Media reports suggest that Pakistan is also seeking the support of its key allies within the G20, namely China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, to join in the boycott.
China and Pakistan assert their full claims over the region, although they currently govern only certain portions. The two nations have engaged in three conflicts since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, all centered around Kashmir.
India, as the current chair of the G20, has arranged a sequence of meetings throughout the country leading up to the summit scheduled to be held in New Delhi in September.
Expressing their stance, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated on Friday, “China strongly opposes organizing any G20 meetings in disputed territories and will abstain from participating in such events.”
India and Pakistan have experienced strained relations since 2019 when New Delhi modified the status of the Jammu and Kashmir state, revoking its special status and transforming it into a federal territory. This change resulted in the division of the state into two federal territories: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. A significant portion of Ladakh is presently under Chinese control.
The Indian-controlled part of Kashmir has long been plagued by a rebellion seeking independence or union with Pakistan. The conflict has led to the loss of many lives, including civilians, soldiers, and Kashmiri rebels.
Tensions between New Delhi and Beijing have also escalated since a military clash in Ladakh in 2020, which resulted in the deaths of 24 soldiers.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is scheduled to host a meeting of the tourism working group for G20 members from May 22 to 24.
Security measures in Kashmir
India has responded to the objection by asserting its right to hold meetings on its own territory.
In an effort to maintain normal relations with China, India emphasized the importance of peace and tranquility along their border.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbors should be founded on mutual respect, sensitivity, and shared interests. These remarks represent a rare expression of New Delhi’s position since the deterioration of ties with Beijing in 2020.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia prior to attending the G7 summit in Japan, Modi emphasized India’s preparedness and commitment to safeguard its sovereignty and dignity.
The three-day G20 gathering is set to take place in a heavily secured venue on the shores of Dal Lake in Srinagar. Police have increased security at vulnerable locations to prevent the possibility of a terrorist attack during the meeting.
On Friday, highly trained Indian commandos conducted patrols in the streets of Srinagar. The roads leading to the meeting location have been recently resurfaced, and electric poles have been adorned with the colors of the Indian national flag. This display is intended to showcase the perceived restoration of “normalcy and peace” in the region, according to officials.
India has been actively promoting tourism in Kashmir, and last year, over a million Indian citizens visited the region.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA