India G20 Presidency

India Slams UN Special Rapporteur for Politicising G-20 Meeting in Kashmir

© AFP 2023 TAUSEEF MUSTAFAA G20 balloon flies in the sky of Srinagar on May 5, 2023, ahead of the summit.
A G20 balloon flies in the sky of Srinagar on May 5, 2023, ahead of the summit. - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.05.2023
As part of its G-2O presidency this year, India will host the third Tourism Working Group Meeting in Srinagar on May 22-24. New Delhi also hosted a Youth-20 (Y-20) meeting in Srinagar this month, which was attended by delegates from Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Japan, South Korea, the US, Brazil and Nigeria.
The Permanent Mission of India in Geneva has hit back at the UN Special Rapporteur (SR) on Minority Issues Dr. Fernand de Varennes after he criticised New Delhi for hosting a G-20 event in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian diplomatic mission said that de Varennes “has acted irresponsibly to politicize this issue, misused his position as an SR to publicize on social media his presumptive and prejudiced conclusions in a gross violation of the Code of Conduct for SRs”.
New Delhi termed de Varennes’s allegations on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir as “baseless and unwarranted”.
“As the G-20 President, it’s India’s prerogative to host its meetings in any part of the country,” the statement underscored.
G20 in Kashmir - Sputnik India, 1920, 12.05.2023
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What Did the UN Special Rapporteur Say?

De Varennes said in a statement that the Indian government was using the G-20 meeting in Srinagar to “portray an international seal of approval” of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The UN expert further alleged that the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir had become “much worse” since 2021, saying that the new ‘Domicile Rules’ (Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020) introduced in June 2020 could lead to altering of the “demographic composition” of the erstwhile state and may lead to “political disenfranchisement” of the local Kashmiri population.
Further, de Varennes claimed that “dramatic demographic changes are underway” in the region as a “significant number of Hindus” from outside were moving there.
“International human rights obligations and the UN Declaration of Human Rights should still be upheld by organisations such as the G-20,” he stated.

‘Unprecedented Peace and Progress’ in J&K: Indian PM

The Indian Parliament revoked the semi-autonomous status of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in a unanimous vote in August 2019. Further, the parliament also bifurcated the former state into two Union Territories (UT)—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the decision led to “unprecedented peace and progress” in the region and brought down the overall number of terror incidents.
Emaar Group, a Dubai-based realty giant, this year announced an investment of $60 million in the Jammu and Kashmir UT, the first foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region since the 2019 decision.
Pakistan, which controls a part of Jammu and Kashmir, has rejected the Indian parliamentary decision and downgraded its diplomatic and commercial ties with New Delhi.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leaves after attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) council of foreign ministers' meeting, in Goa, India, Friday, May 5, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 08.05.2023
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At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Goa state this month, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari “condemned” New Delhi’s move to host a G-20 meeting in Srinagar.
“We will give such a response that will be remembered,” he said.
In response, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar dismissed Bhutto’s criticism, saying that New Delhi didn’t have to discuss the G-20 matter with a country which is not part of the grouping.

“Jammu & Kashmir was, is, [and] will always be a part of India, and the G20 meetings are held in all the Indian states and union territories, so it is completely natural that it is held there,” Jaishankar stated.