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Pakistan fails to disrupt Y-20 meet at Srinagar

Despite terror threats from Paksitan foreign delegates are attending Y-20 meeting in Srinagar

Srinagar: As many as 20 international and 38 national delegates and speakers are participating in a Youth-20 (Y20) consultation meet on climate change being organised by the University of Kashmir today as part of the discussions being held under India’s Presidency of G20 in the current year.

“This is an official engagement group under India’s G20 Presidency holding four panel discussions after the inaugural session that will be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, who is also the Chancellor of University of Kashmir,” an official said.

According to him, the 20 international delegates and speakers representing 11 countries are from Russia, South Korea, Brazil, the United States of America, Indonesia, Japan and other nations.

Official sources say that the delegates and speakers have reached the University campuses at Hazratbal, Srinagar, to attend the Y20 meet on Thursday. ‘Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Making Sustainability A Way of Life’ has been adopted as the theme of the event which is also being attended by over 200 local delegates including students, scholars and NSS volunteers. The conference will have four panel discussions.

The discussion is being held in the run-up to the main G20 event in Jammu and Kashmir–a meeting of the Working Group on Tourism—which is being scheduled at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on 22-24 May,

At least 38 national delegates and speakers representing 17 states of India have also reached the university campus to participate in the same Y20 conference. This is happening in Jammu and Kashmir days after a similar event with international participation was organised at Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh.

Official sources said that nearly 200 local delegates, including school children of senior secondary level, college students, research scholars, NSS volunteers and representatives from the Union Territory Government’s Department of Youth Services and Sports are also participating in the panel discussions.

Vice Chancellor Nilofer Khan said that this Y20 event is a historic occasion and an event of global importance. No international event or conference has been held in Jammu and Kashmir after an international cricket match between India and Australia at Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir International Cricket Stadium in September 1986.

Representatives from the UT and the Central Government are also participating in the University event for which elaborate security arrangements have been put in place.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs last month issued a statement while strongly opposing the holding of the G20 and Y20 international events in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and calling the two UTs as ‘disputed territories’. According to reports, Pakistan is still running a diplomatic campaign and beseeching some friendly countries in G20 to not participate in the events in Jammu and Kashmir.

Last week Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told media persons at a summit of the Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Goa that if India went ahead with its programme of holding the scheduled G20 events in Kashmir, Pakistan would respond in a way which would be remembered for long. The security and intelligence agencies in India are interpreting Zardari’s statement as an implicit threat and a green signal to terror groups to sabotage the events.

Authorities have apprehensions that the Pakistani agencies could attempt some terror attacks either on the LoC/International Border or somewhere in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar to divert attention from the political turmoil triggered by the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest on Tuesday. Khan’s arrest from Islamabad High Court premises is threatening an unprecedented implosion in Pakistan as, for the first time in history, angry mobs have stormed the Army’s General Headquarters at Rawalpindi, ransacked a Corps Commander’s residence in Lahore and torched the headquarters of Radio Pakistan.

In view of the fresh threat perception, and killing of 10 soldiers in two terror attacks recently, authorities have shut down Army schools in Jammu from Wednesday to 25 May, shifting the academic activity to the online mode.

Also Read: Troops go all-out to smash Poonch-Rajouri module of 3 Pak-based terrorists