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Pakistan FM Slams West for Turning a ‘Blind Eye’ to Kashmir as India Hosts G-20 Meeting

© AFP 2023 AAMIR QURESHIPakistan's Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari poses after an interview with AFP in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on May 22, 2023.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari poses after an interview with AFP in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on May 22, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.05.2023
The G-20 meeting in Srinagar opened on Monday amid heavy security cover and witnessed the participation of over 60 foreign delegates. New Delhi says that the meeting would send a message of peace and progress and be a boost to Kashmir’s tourism industry.
Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has criticized the West for “turning a blind eye” to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, as he addressed the state legislature in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir per the Indian gov't).
In particular, Zardari accused New Delhi of committing human rights violations in the region and allegedly trying to change Kashmir's demography through domicile laws.

“I ask those who champion the rules-based international order and place a premium on protecting and promoting human rights, how they can turn a blind eye to this savagery. It is not wise to sacrifice these timeless principles for short term interests,” Zardari stated, an apparent reference to west's advocacy of human rights in different countries.

“One cannot wax lyrical about international law and the UN Security Council resolutions in Europe, in the European context and then a blind eye to the violation of the same international principles in the Kashmiri context,” the Pakistani foreign minister added, calling upon the international community to help Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute.
It's worth noting that the collective West has increasingly been accused of politicizing the issue of human rights to advance its own political interests.
A G20 logo is pictured on a boat in Dal Lake ahead of the G20 meeting in Srinagar on May 19, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.05.2023
Why the G20 Meeting in Kashmir is Important for India
Zardari reiterated Islamabad’s official stance that dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad would only resume once India rolls back its decision to revoke the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Both India and Pakistan have governed separate parts of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947. New Delhi claims jurisdiction over the entire region and regularly urges Islamabad to vacate its “illegal occupation” of the region.

Pakistan PM Attacks India Over G-20 Meeting in Srinagar

Zardari also slammed India for hosting a G-20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting in Srinagar.
The meeting, which kicked off on Monday, is the first major international event being held in Jammu and Kashmir since the Indian parliament abrogated the semi-autonomous status of the region in August 2019.
“As we speak, India is hosting the meeting of the Tourism Working Group (TWG) in Srinagar. Meetings of a consultative forum on youth affairs Y-20 have already been held in Jammu, Leh and Srinagar in the past few weeks. This is yet another display of India’s arrogance on the world stage,” Zardari said.
He further accused New Delhi of “misusing its position as the chair of G-20” to violate UN Security Council resolutions and international law.

Jammu & Kashmir is an ‘Integral’ Part of India: Jaishankar

This is the second time in less than a month that Zardari has slammed India for hosting a G-20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir, the first time being at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Goa state this month.
The criticism provoked a sharp rebuttal from Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar, who said that New Delhi didn’t want to discuss the matter with a country which wasn’t a part of G-20.
“Jammu & Kashmir was, is, [and] will always be a part of India, and the G-20 meetings are held in all the Indian states and union territories, so it is completely natural that it is held there,” Jaishankar stated.
New Delhi has also consistently rejected Islamabad’s criticism of the 2019 decision to change the political status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister Modi has said that the move has ushered in “unprecedented peace and progress” in the region and brought down the overall number of terror incidents.
A G20 balloon flies in the sky of Srinagar on May 5, 2023, ahead of the summit. - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.05.2023
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