Tuesday, November 28, 2023

As India decks up to hold G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in J-K, Pak FM Bilawal visits PoK

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari began his three-day visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Sunday, where he will also deliver an address to the people of the region, according to Dawn.

Bilawal’s visit to PoK comes as India prepares to host the third G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting’ in Jammu and Kashmir beginning Monday (May 22) under tight security. The third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting is scheduled for May 22-24 in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, under India’s presidency.

Pakistan has repeatedly expressed strong opposition to New Delhi’s plan to hold the G20 Tourism Working Group conference in Kashmir.

In response to Pakistan’s criticism, India stated that G20 meetings are being held throughout the country and that it is “natural” to hold meetings in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh because “these are inalienable parts of India.”

Pakistan recently criticised India’s decision to hold a G20 summit in Srinagar and parts of Kashmir as a “irresponsible move.”

“G20 meetings are being organized in entire India, in all cities and parts of India. It is therefore natural to hold the meetings in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh because these are inalienable parts of India,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during the MEA Weekly Media Briefing.

“That is what I would like to say. The meetings are being held in all parts of India, that is our natural response,” the MEA official spokesperson said.

Srinagar has been announced as the venue for the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting, which will take place from May 22 to 24.

For many years, India-Pakistan relations have been precarious due to cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan. Furthermore, New Delhi has repeatedly emphasised Pakistan’s continued support for cross-border terrorism and terrorist infiltration. According to reports, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been bearing the brunt of this terrorism campaign for decades and will continue to do so.

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