India has already begun setting the tone for its use of the G20 platform to promote its geopolitical and geoeconomic goals, which are primarily related to South Asian regional politics. To maintain regional politics in its favor, India’s tense interactions with Pakistan have launched several political and diplomatic maneuvers. Hosting the international community in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) can give them the chance for the world to witness the true suffering of the Kashmiri people. As the Indian government is working hard to transform the situation in Kashmir in the aftermath of the G20 summit, the Modi administration would undoubtedly not permit the visiting officials from other capitals to openly probe or evaluate the situation in the area. Almost two-thirds of the world’s population, representing all continents, is represented by the G20, which also includes significant national and regional actors for a number of the world’s current hotspots.
The G20, often known as the Group of Twenty, is an international organization made up of 19 states that account for two-thirds of the world’s population, 75% of worldwide commerce, and 85% of global GDP.
Under Narendra Modi’s rule, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime in India has implemented several ground-breaking policies to alter New Delhi’s role in international politics. Modi’s administration has adopted a variety of political measures against the countries that border India on a geographical basis, with Pakistan being the exception, to bring Indian internal politics into line with shifting trends in global politics. The main motivation for Modi’s choice to adopt increasingly aggressive and less conciliatory steps against Pakistan was the long history of tense interactions with New Delhi and Islamabad.
The core tenet of New Delhi’s South Asian strategy is to maintain India’s dominance in the region and its status as a major player on the global stage.
Its aggressive behavior in its territory is the outcome of combining both agendas. The Kashmir problem cannot be disregarded in discussions about India’s aggressive behavior within its own territory. The Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India has gone through several phases, reflecting the shifting characteristics of South Asian regional politics. Because of the two nuclear-armed adversaries’ rigid positions, an endless arms race has developed from India’s aggressive behavior and Pakistan’s defensive strategies.
The world should be reminded that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally acknowledged “disputed” region between Pakistan and India. Furthermore, India’s intention to host the G20 summit in the disputed valley would be a clear violation of the relevant UNSC Resolutions, international treaties, and bilateral agreements. A cruel strategy to alter the demographics of IIOJK involves the killing and eviction of Kashmiris from their homes. Under international law, Modi’s conduct in Kashmir might be characterized as genocide or a war committed against humanity. Moreover, Pakistan firmly demands the world community force India to stop its flagrant and persistent impunity for human rights violations in IIOJ&K, retract its unlawful and unilateral measures from August 2019, and release all political detainees, including the real Kashmiri leaders. The move by the Indian government has been criticized by a representative for China’s foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, who stated that “It is a legacy matter between India and Pakistan.” It must be properly resolved in compliance with the pertinent bilateral and UN resolutions. We must also resolve our differences through dialogue and consultation to safeguard peace and stability.
This Indian publicity attempt to host the G20 in Jammu and Kashmir is on display. In terms of internet freedom, the Modi administration placed last. Global internet outages are detailed in the study for 2022, with India’s largest criminal accounting for 58% of disruptions in IIOJK. How can the world community disregard such government actions and let the G20 be held in Kashmir, a territory that is not legally part of India? In response to India’s crimes of human rights in IIOJK, the world must denounce the action and apply penalties for it. To end the genocidal treatment of Kashmiris, the UN must intervene decisively. The G20 summit will be held in Kashmir in 2023 as part of the Modi administration’s effort to portray Jammu and Kashmir as normal areas. However, this policy is an attempt by India to hide the territory’s real nature. How the Indian government claims to be bringing the situation in the valley back to normal while impeding the locals’ basic rights. The Modi administration uses this as their sole tactic to divert attention away from violations of human rights and hold the G20 meeting in the valley.
In reality, the goal of holding the G20 summit there is directly related to the Modi administration’s attempt to undermine Pakistan’s posture towards the Kashmir conflict by projecting a sense of normalcy in the occupied parts of Kashmir.
The nations that engage in frequent economic exchanges with New Delhi bear a higher share of responsibility since those nations’ business relations with India might be useful in resolving the Kashmir problem.
The Indian government’s strategy is to make money off of its citizens and resources. The administration is solely interested in luring foreign investors who will promote their interests, not that of the local population. If the G20 summit is held in Jammu and Kashmir, it would only serve to advance the goal of the Indian administration rather than fostering regional stability. Moreover, it would suggest that Pakistan’s claims regarding IIOJ&K are no longer true. New Delhi’s aggressively rigid stance on the Kashmir conflict is primarily motivated by Islamabad’s necessity of having adequate counterbalancing potential over Indian regional hegemonic plans. The only option for the two nuclear neighbors is to resolve the Kashmir conflict peacefully, which might contribute to the spreading of peace and stability in the nuclearized region.
The author is currently working as visiting faculty at International Islamic University Islamabad. She regularly writes on South Asian security and strategic issues.