Reports of India hosting the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Jammu and Kashmir, in 2023, have pushed Pakistan to announce a boycott from the meet. Reportedly, Islamabad is also planning to approach its G20 allies to convince them to boycott the summit.
“Pakistan to ask China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to boycott (the) G20 meeting in J-K,” tweeted WLVN Analysis, a geopolitics, defence, and national security think-tank.
The Ministry of External Affairs has informed that India will assume the G-20 presidency on December 1, 2022, from Indonesia, and host the inaugural G20 Leaders’ Summit in 2023. India’s representation at G20 summits has been led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014. Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was appointed as India’s Sherpa for G20, in September 2021.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said that Islamabad had taken note of news items appearing in the Indian media, which indicated that India might “hold some G20-related meeting in Jammu and Kashmir”. He further added, “Contemplating the holding of any G20-related meeting/event in J&K, in utter disregard of the globally acknowledged ‘disputed’ status of the territory, is a travesty that the international community cannot accept under any circumstances.” Meanwhile, the Express Tribune also reported that Islamabad would also speak to the US, the UK, and other G20 members to counter India’s plans.
On December 1, 2021, India had joined the G20 Troika of Indonesia, Italy, and India – the current, previous and incoming G20 presidencies – respectively. Furthermore, India is constantly working with Indonesia and Italy to ensure consistency, and further strengthening of the G20 agenda.
The Union Cabinet that was presided over by PM Narendra Modi on February 15, 2022, approved the commissioning of a G20 Secretariat, which will be responsible for the implementation of the overall policy decisions and engagements needed for steering India’s forthcoming G20 presidency.
The main functions of the G20 Secretariat will include a smooth transition from the previous presidency, preparations and conduct of all G20 meetings during the year, consultation and coordination with stakeholders, and finally the handover to the next presidency.
The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Recently, in March, India hosted an investment conference involving the Gulf countries, in J&K, where delegates from over 36 countries were in attendance. Entrepreneurs and CEOs from different countries such as Dubai, Holland, and the United Arab Emirates, were present at the summit.
The Gulf countries’ venture into Jammu and Kashmir was seen as an indication to Pakistan, which has been harping on the propaganda about Kashmir being a problem that needs to be settled, and that Muslim countries should support its stand.