SRINAGAR: The 2023 G-20 meeting announced to be hosted in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to move to Delhi. Though it is yet to be formally confirmed by the government, reports in the media suggest the key infrastructure is being built in Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.
The announcement of Jammu and Kashmir, preferably Kashmir, hosting the leaders of G-20 leaders has triggered diplomatic tensions as China has not supported the idea.
“India is expected to host the G-20 summit in Delhi, while a number of states including Jammu and Kashmir and north-eastern states have been asked to suggest venues for about 100 “preparatory” meetings expected to be held between December 2022 and November 2023 during India’s G-20 presidency,” Chennai based newspaper, The Hindu quoted officials saying. “Construction for conference halls, and new hotels to house the 20 heads of state and thousands of officials and delegates is already underway, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a nearly Rs 1,000-crore Integrated Transit Corridor Project this month to connect the Pragati Maidan headquarters to other key locations.”
Within a day after the announcement was made, Islamabad sharply reacted and announced it will approach the G-20 members to reject the venue. Soon, Beijing was watched talking almost in unison.
Reports appearing in the media said that the plan is to have preparatory meetings of the G-20 on a pan-India basis in which all the states are being involved. The Week reported that the MEA has appointed diplomat Harsh Shringla as coordinator for hosting the global event and has is literally on a Bharat yatra to choose the venue.
The Hindu reported that the “confusion emerged” after the letter issued by Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Manoj Kumar Dwivedi appeared in the media, (GO 739-(JK)GAD of 2022 dated June 23) sanctioning the constitution of a 5-member committee for the “overall coordination of G-20 meetings” in Jammu and Kashmir. It was followed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha announcing it to be a “matter of privilege” to host the G-20 summit.
G-20 is a major grouping on earth of the highly industrialised nations that have the largest pie in global GDP. India is taking over its leadership from Indonesia at Bali in December 2022.
The controversy erupted at a time when there are problems within the G-20 over the Ukraine invasion by Russia. Even though there has been a lot of pressure on Indonesia to not invite Russia to the upcoming G-20 meeting, the powerful group’s incumbent leader has gone against the suggestions. “Vladimir Putin will be in focus at the summit, with the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and western European countries putting pressure on Indonesia not to invite him to Bali as punishment for invading Ukraine,” Tribune reported. “But India, China, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey do not believe in exclusion of a major economy even by majority.”
So next week’s event is expected to be interesting as the entire focus will be on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. However, there are reports that China may rake up the Kashmir venue idea in the meeting to which the Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishanker is expected to defend the decision. However, the venue is reportedly being shifted to Delhi.
Dr Jaishaker is scheduled to attend the two-day conference of G-20 foreign ministers in Indonesia on July 7 and 8.