Pakistan rejects India’s plans to hold G20 event in IOJK

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday strongly rejected and opposed the Indian government’s reported plan to hold a G20 event in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) next year. According to a report published in The Indian Express on Friday, India has decided to host the meetings of the G20 in the disputed region next year and formed a five-member committee to coordinate the event.

An official order issued by IOJK’s housing and urban development department on Thursday revealed that the committee was formed in response to a June 4 communication from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Separately, a Hindustan Times report said that this would be the first major international “summit” to be held in occupied Kashmir after the Indian government revoked its special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Constitution.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office today, Pakistan condemned the neighbouring country’s plans, stressing that occupied Kashmir was an internationally recognised “disputed” territory between Pakistan and India. The territory has been under forcible and illegal occupation of India since 1947 and this dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for over seven decades.

The FO observed that India was responsible for “widespread atrocities and egregious human rights violations” in the region. “Since its illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, Indian occupation forces have killed 639 innocent Kashmiris in extra-judicial murders. “Numerous reports of the UN, including the two commissioned by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2018 and 2019, have re-confirmed ongoing Indian atrocities against the Kashmiri people,” the statement highlighted.

It continued that contemplating the holding of any G20-related meeting/event in occupied Kashmir was in utter “disregard of the globally acknowledged disputed status of the territory” and was a “travesty” that the international community could not accept under any circumstances. “It is expected that in case of any such controversial proposal from India, which would be designed to seek international legitimacy for an illegal and tyrannical occupation continuing for over 7 decades, the G20 members will be fully cognisant of the imperatives of law and justice and would reject it outright.”

Pakistan also strongly urged the international community to call upon India to end its gross and systematic violations of human rights in IOJK, revoke its illegal and unilateral actions, and free all political prisoners including the true Kashmiri leaders. “The only way to lasting peace in South Asia is by granting the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir their inalienable right to self-determination as pledged to them in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the FO added.