Former Chief Minister of erstwhile state Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that the forthcoming G-20 meeting may be a “good promotion exercise” for the BJP at the international level, however, holding the SAARC summit and discussing problems in the region will help India in becoming a ‘Vishwaguru’.
In an interview with PTI, former Jammu Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti suggested that India can assert its leadership not just in the region but globally by spearheading the SAARC summit, as she discussed preparations for the upcoming three-day G-20 grouping meeting.
She further said, as quoted by PTI, “We don’t live close to Australia, America or Japan which are members of G-20. We are living in this region and the SAARC caters to the problems of this region.”
She added it will help India become the leader in the region and in the world if the government takes the initiative and conducts a summit of SAARC countries and addresses the problems that are being faced by this region.
Mufti said that taking any initiative to have a SAARC summit “can really establish the leadership of India in this region and ultimately it can establish its leadership in the world.”
Commenting further on the matter, Mufti said the government “has to understand that the road leads through SAARC and not through G-20,” as reported by PTI.
Her comments have come ahead of the G-20 event which will be the first international meeting being held in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories.
She said, “As far as G-20 is concerned, it has been made into a BJP event because even the logo has been replaced by a lotus. It may be a kind of good promotion for the party itself and as far as Jammu Kashmir is concerned, especially the Valley you have seen the way the crackdowns are going on.”
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was set up in December 1985. It is a grouping of eight countries including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. PTI