Pakistan appreciates G-20 countries that stayed away from Srinagar meeting

Islamabad, May 25, 2023 (PPI-OT): Pakistan has appreciated China, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Egypt and Oman for not attending the G-20 meeting in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Foreign Office Spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, at her weekly news briefing in Islamabad today (Thursday) said these countries have stood for international law and for the primacy of the UN charter. She said that Pakistan had categorically rejected India’s move to host the meeting of G-20 Tourism Working Group in Srinagar.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory. “The dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for over seven decades. In that backdrop, India hosted this meeting in IIOJK in complete disregard of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, principles of the UN Charter and international law,” she said. The Spokesperson 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 bring an end to the occupation and human rights violations, she said.

She said tourism and development cannot be promoted by holding the local population hostage and denying them their rights and freedoms. She said 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 extreme security measures, arbitrary arrests and harassment of the local population around the Srinagar meeting, refute the claims of normalcy in the colonized territory, she said. Mumtaz Zahra Baloch 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.

She said the G-20 was established, primarily, to address global financial and economic issues. She maintained that 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. She said India should instead provide unhindered access to the international media and independent human rights organizations to report on the situation in IIOJK.

The Spokesperson said Pakistan for its part will continue to extend its moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris’ just struggle for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.

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