As India hosts the 3rd G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar – which was unimaginable in the last six decades of strife -- a flustered Pakistan has been rattled by the overwhelming response to the summit.
About 60 foreign delegates arrived here on Monday for the third tourism working group meeting of the G20 countries. This is the first international meeting being held in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh – in August 2019.
The delegates arrived in a chartered flight at the Srinagar international airport in the morning amidst tight security.
Elite security forces - including marine commandos, National Security Guards, Border Security Force and police forces - have been deployed in Kashmir to provide ground-to-air security cover, according to reports. Security has also been boosted around the Dal Lake and the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, which is the venue for the meeting. Schools around the routes that G20 delegates will use have been closed. Military bunkers, a common sight in Kashmir, have been covered with G20 banners to hide them from view.
Pak FM Bilawal Bhutto in POK
Incidentally, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari arrived in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) on a three-day visit beginning Sunday. He is scheduled to address a gathering in the region. Bilawal claimed the G20 meeting in Srinagar was a “violation of international law”, Geo News reported.
“India cannot suppress the voice of Kashmiris through a conference. By violating the UN resolution, it is not possible for India to play an effective role in the world,” he was quoted as saying while talking to reporters.
China opposes G20 meeting in 'disputed' area
It is understood that China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are not attending the summit. “China firmly opposes holding G20 meetings in any form in ‘disputed’ areas and will not attend such meetings,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in Beijing.
China firmly opposes holding G20 meetings in any form in 'disputed' areas and will not attend such meetings. – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin
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