By Javed Iqbal

The 18th edition of G20 Summit 2023 in New Delhi:

This year’s G20 summit will take place in India on September 9 and 10. The European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States are all members of the G20. The 2023 G20 conference’s main event will take place in New Delhi, while other G20 events will be held in 28 other Indian cities. Prior to taking over the G20 chair, India articulated that a G20 summit would also take place in Occupied Kashmir; a conflicted state that the UN Security Council has declared to be in dispute. However, a big problem for India here is that for holding the G20 meeting in Srinagar, the Indian government will have to take the unbending proceedings in Occupied Kashmir and impose curfew in the disputed area. Meanwhile, the administration of Occupied Kashmir was ordered by the Indian government to get ready for the G20 meeting in Srinagar.

India’s policy-makers pin hopes on G20 members that by hosting the G20 summit in Srinagar, they will win the advocacy of on the position of the Occupied Kashmir issue:

India is forcibly taking Kashmiris’ property. By hosting the G20 summit, India is demonstrating that Occupied Kashmir is a peaceful region and that its residents want to coexist tranquilly with India. Whatever is causing this crisis to get worse is coming from Pakistan. However, the Kashmir problem is not a global one. Instead, it is an Indian internal problem. Additionally, none of the UN resolutions are even remotely useful. The right to self-determination that was mentioned to them is wholly illegitimate and entirely at odds with the reality. Consequently, it is important for G20 members to comprehend that Kashmir is a disputed area that has never been a part of any nation.

Pakistan’s Kashmir policy and creep up on the Kashmir issues:

Pakistan has always maintained that there are practically three sides to the Kashmir dispute; Pakistan, Kashmiri people and India. This dispute can only be resolved according to the resolutions adopted by the United Nations. And, unless Kashmiris are given the right to self-determination, then no one-sided formula is acceptable to Pakistan and the Kashmiri people. It is also not hidden from anyone that India itself took this issue to the United Nations. And, the Indian Prime Minister of that time had publicly admitted that the Kashmir issue would be resolved according to the wishes of the Kashmiris. It is a different matter that with the passage of time the Indian rulers continued to deviate from these promises. And, now the situation is that, since August 5, 2019, occupied Kashmir has been converted into the biggest prison in the world by the Indian army.

Contemporary happenings in IOK:

According to the media reports that came out a few days ago, since the termination of the special status of Occupied Kashmir, the local economy has lost more than 10 billion dollars. Inspecting this situation, experts have said that the Modi government is working to systematically destroy the forests of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In this case, the Delhi government has started cutting forests in occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the name of the so-called campaign to eliminate “encroachments”. And, the land obtained from the illegal cutting of these forests is being allotted for the settlements of the Indian Army. It is noteworthy that the people living here used to earn their livelihood with the help of these trees and gardens for centuries. Along with this, deforestation is going on vigorously in Pahalgam district as well. It should be remembered that not only forests are being cut down, but also houses made of mud, stones and wood are also being bulldozed here and thousands of Kashmiris have become homeless and unemployed as a result of this campaign. According to observers, colonies of retired and serving Indian military personnel are being built in occupied Kashmir on the pattern of Jewish settlements in Gaza. According to the latest data, the Modi government has issued domicile of occupied valley to more than 44 lakh Hindus. A large number of Kashmiri Pandits and extremist Hindus are being settled there under various housing projects in Srinagar. Occupied Kashmir is currently presenting the scene of a prison. The Internet has been down there for a long time. People cut off from the world and live as a prisoners.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and Khalistan Referendum:

The G-20 nations have been encouraged by the Sikh representative group “Sikhs for Justice” to back the Sikhs’ campaign for a Khalistan referendum in order to support their desire for a separate homeland in India. In an open letter sent to the foreign ministers of the G-20 nations after the summit, the group “Sikhs for Justice,” which spearheaded the movement for the creation of Khalistan, made this demand. The organization argued that, in accordance with the Indian Constitution, India is a union of states rather than a country, and that the ratification of the constitution depends on the states’ residents’ continuing support. The group claimed that since 1948, the majority-Sikh state of Punjab has been calling for the creation of a separate homeland for them under the name “Khalistan,” but the Indian government has been using ruthless force to repress their nonviolent effort. The G-20 nations were encouraged by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to take note of the Modi administration’s use of force in response to the Khalistan referendum. It should be recalled that the Sikh Khalistan group also held an important referendum in Canada in 2022. The group expressed appreciation for the unusually large number of Sikhs who took part in the poll. Simla was to be the capital of an independent Khalistan, according to the voting Sikhs. It should be noted that the participants who participated in the referendum said that the results of the referendum will be made clear to the world. Sikhs want freedom, Indian Punjab will soon emerge on the map of the world as an independent country, India cannot deprive Sikhs of their right to freedom through force.

Sikhs for Justice and Canada’s stance on the demand:

India faced a major diplomatic setback when all Indian efforts to stop the Khalistan referendum failed and the referendum began. The Canadian government said that the Khalistan referendum cannot be stopped, people are allowed to express themselves freely. The Canadian government said that the Khalistan referendum is a legal and democratic right of the Sikhs. In Canada, everyone can exercise their democratic rights within the framework of the law. After the political tension due to the referendum in Canada, the angry people vandalized a temple on which the Indian government demanded action from Canada.

Possible consequences of G20 summit in IOK:

India is experiencing significant internal unrest. The Modi administration has not formally attempted to establish trust with the Kashmiri leadership. The leadership in Kashmir is protesting this. In accordance with international law, the G-20 member countries should turn down India’s invitation to attend any summit in a war area where egregious human rights violations are occurring. Also, there are UN resolutions and reports from human rights organizations on the sensitive subject of Occupied Kashmir. The Modi administration has the ability to bring about a significant human catastrophe in Occupied Kashmir following any such gathering, which might cause problems for G20 members and international organizations. The Indian government has established a high-level committee under the direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to successfully plan the G20 summit session in Srinagar. Now that it is ready to host a few sessions of the summit there, the army will need to make strict security arrangements for the G20 Summit while imposing a curfew in Occupied Kashmir to prevent any protests from Kashmiris on this occasion. This will be India’s biggest challenge in hosting the summit in Srinagar. The Indian administration will need to make more arrests in occupied Kashmir to do this. Remember that the representatives of the G20 countries won’t be able to ignore this issue.

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