SRINAGAR, Indian-held Kashmir – Noam Chomsky, a well-known American scholar, questioned the conscience of the G20 countries for attending a meeting in Jammu and Kashmir, India.
In a video message, he said that it was “outrageous that the G20 is even holding a meeting, let alone a tourism meeting” in Kashmir. The G20, or Group of 20, is an intergovernmental forum that includes 19 countries and the European Union. It is currently led by India, which will host the summit of G20 countries in September.
Ahead of the summit, India hosted a three-day meeting of tourism working group representatives in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-held Kashmir, May 23-24. The meeting got off to a controversial start, with China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey staying away. Egypt, which was invited as a guest country, also boycotted the event.
“Kashmir has been one of the many victims (of the legacy of partition), the suffering of which took even harsher forms in later years, most recently in 2019 with India’s total destruction of the legal agreement under which Jammu and Kashmir joined India in 1947,” Chomsky added.
“This is probably the most militarized region in the world, where the population is imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, and denied even the most basic rights,” he added.
The Indian newspaper The Telegraph reported that the G20 delegates could not travel to the famous tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Dachigam for security reasons.
Many locals had their work cut out for them as they struggled through agonizing traffic jams to allow the visitors to travel. Unprecedented security arrangements were made to protect the meeting.
Even schools along the route of the G20 delegates were closed for three days.