The Srinagar G20 Meeting is being attended by approximately 60 delegates from G20 member countries. Singapore has the highest number of delegates participating in the event, according to officials. This meeting, taking place in the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, marks the region’s first international event since the revocation of its special status and statehood in August 2019.
The Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Center (SKICC) in Srinagar has undergone significant improvements in preparation for the G20 meeting, including the beautification of certain areas of the city and the roads leading to the venue.
Harshavardhan Shingha, the Chief Coordinator of G20, stated that India, as the current G20 presidency holder, has already conducted 118 meetings throughout the country. He highlighted that the Srinagar meeting has attracted the largest number of participants compared to the previous two meetings focused on tourism.
Apart from the G20 member delegates, there are also representatives from guest countries attending the meeting. However, China has expressed opposition to holding a G20 meeting in Kashmir and will not be attending. Saudi Arabia has not registered for the event, and Turkey has chosen to abstain from the Srinagar meeting.
China’s objection to the G20 event in Srinagar is the first strongly worded statement on the matter. India countered by asserting its right to hold meetings on its own territory and emphasized the importance of peaceful border relations with China for maintaining normal ties.
In light of the meeting, Srinagar is under strict security measures, with marine commandos, national security guards, anti-drone units, and additional troops deployed. The security forces aim to prevent any potential disruptions by terrorists during the G20 event.
Traffic restrictions are in place in Srinagar, with boulevard road closed to traffic and specific routes reserved for G20 delegates. Special passes have been issued to shopkeepers in the Lal Chowk area to ensure their businesses can operate smoothly.
Significant infrastructural improvements have been made in Srinagar as part of the city’s smart city project, including the renovation of footpaths, roads, and the Jhelum riverfront. The Poloview market, known for its shopping, has received a notable transformation and is now a pedestrian-only market with enhanced aesthetics.
The G20 meeting is expected to have a positive impact on tourism in Kashmir, which already attracts a significant number of domestic and international tourists.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha stated that the success of the G20 tourism working group meeting will contribute to increased tourism and investment in Jammu and Kashmir.