Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that China, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Egypt and Oman stayed away from the G20 meeting on tourism hosted by India this week in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.
"We greatly appreciate the People’s Republic of China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Turkiye, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Sultanate of Oman for not attending the Srinagar meeting. These countries have stood for international law and for the primacy of the UN Charter," read a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Thursday, a day after three-day working group meeting on tourism of G20 countries concluded in Srinagar.
This was the first major global event India hosted in the disputed territory since it revoked its special status in August 2019.
Pakistan strongly opposed the Indian move and issued a fresh statement categorically rejecting India’s move to host the meeting of the G20 Tourism Working Group in Srinagar between May 22 and 24.
Read more: Friends of Pakistan shun India's G20 meet in Srinagar
"Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory. The dispute has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for over seven decades. In that backdrop, India hosted this meeting in IIOJK in complete disregard of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, principles of the UN charter and international law," the statement said.
"Holding the G20 meeting in a disputed territory is a betrayal to the people of IIOJK. For the last seven decades, they have been waiting for the international community to pay attention to their plight and to bring an end to the occupation and human rights violations," it added.
The statement said that tourism and development cannot be promoted by holding the local population hostage and denying them their rights and freedoms. "By holding the G20 meeting in Srinagar, India cannot hide the reality of its illegal occupation of IIOJK and oppression of the Kashmiri people."
"India’s facade of normalcy in Kashmir is met by the harsh reality that IIOJK remains one of the most militarised zones on the planet. The extreme security measures, arbitrary arrests and harassment of the local population around the Srinagar meeting refute the claims of normalcy in the colonised territory."
The foreign office said that India had clearly failed in hiding the reality in IIOJK behind a veneer of normalcy, as demonstrated by low-level representation and the absence of a number of important invitees at the Srinagar meeting.
The statement said the G20 was established, primarily, to address global financial and economic issues. By holding this meeting in the occupied territory, India has politicised yet another international forum, and is exploiting its position as the current Chair to advance its self-serving agenda.
It said India should instead provide unhindered access to the international media and independent human rights organisations to report on the situation in IIOJK. It must bring an end to the repression it has unleashed there, agree to the establishment of the UN Commission of Inquiry and hold a UN supervised plebiscite for the people of Kashmir to determine their own future.
Pakistan, for its part, will continue to extend its moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri people’s just struggle for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination, as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the statement concluded.