- FO says contemplating holding any G20-related meeting in IIOJK shows a complete disregard for the globally acknowledged disputed status of the territory
The Foreign Office (FO) on Saturday issued a statement on reports indicating that India is planning to hold "some G20-related meeting/event in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)," saying that "Pakistan completely rejects any such attempt" as it shows an utter disregard for the globally acknowledged “disputed status" of the territory.
According to a report published by the Hindustan Times, "the territory of J&K has been selected by the ministry for external affairs (MEA) for G-20 meetings during the summit of the high-profile grouping to be hosted by India in 2023."
"This will be the first major international summit to be held in Jammu and Kashmir after the erstwhile state’s special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated and it was bifurcated into two union territories on August 5, 2019," the report further states.
Hours after the Hindustan Times report was published, the FO issued a statement.
"Contemplating the holding of any G20-related meeting/event in IIOJK, in utter disregard of the globally acknowledged disputed status of the territory, is a travesty that the international community cannot accept under any circumstances," the FO spokesperson said in response to queries related to next year’s G20 venue.
The spokesperson emphasised that 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 cognizant of the imperatives of law and justice and would reject it out-right."
Explaining why such a plan was problematic, the statement noted it is well-known that “Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory between Pakistan and India,” adding that the territory has been under forcible and illegal occupation of India since 1947.
It further highlighted that the dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for over seven decades.
The FO further noted India is responsible for widespread atrocities and egregious human rights violations in IIOJK.
More importantly, it noted that since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, Indian occupation forces have killed “639 innocent Kashmiris in extra-judicial murders.”
The statement specified that 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.
"Most ominously, India has been seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory in flagrant violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, international law, and the 4th Geneva Convention," it said.
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.