Days after China and Pakistan voiced their opposition to India’s decision to hold preparatory meetings of the G-20 summit in Jammu and Kashmir next year, the Centre has proposed to hold these meetings in the Union Territory of Ladakh as well.
Indian and Chinese troops have been involved in a border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 2020, and the government’s proposal to hold the meetings in the Union Territory is likely to be seen as a snub to China.
India assumes the presidency of the G-20 on December 1 this year. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is set to reach Bali in Indonesia to participate in the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting on July 7 and 8.
Ladakh’s Lt Governor R K Mathur has cleared the nominations of Divisional Commissioner Saugat Biswas and Leh-Kargil Range DIG Junaid Mehmood as nodal officers to coordinate with the Ministry of External Affairs, which houses the G-20 secretariat.
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The J&K administration had on June 23 constituted a five-member committee headed by the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, to coordinate the G-20 meetings that are to be held in the UT.
India’s proposal to hold the preparatory meetings of the international grouping in 2023 in J&K had invited sharp reactions from Pakistan, which said that it hoped that members of the grouping would be fully cognisant of the imperatives of law and justice and oppose the proposal outright.
China had later voiced its opposition to the Indian government’s move, saying “relevant parties should avoid complicating the situation with the unilateral move”.
This will be the first major international meet to be held in the former state since August 2019, when J&K was stripped of its special status and divided into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
The G-20 brings together the world’s major economies and has as members the US, UK, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey, besides the European Union.
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