Indian attempt to brush aside Kashmir

by Syeda Tahreem Bukhari
INDIA-Illegally Occupied Kashmir is not only the internationally recognized disputed territory but also internationally abandoned territory. World has turned a blind eye to the sufferings of Kashmiris. It has been 76 years, they are fighting for their right to self-determination. The UN which was created with the agenda of providing a platform for peaceful resolution of disputes failed to make India oblige with the United Nation Security Council Resolution regarding Kashmir which grants them right to self-determination. India, rampant on its path of illegal occupation, unilaterally revoked Article 370 in August 2019 to annex Kashmir that is an utter violation of international law as well as bilateral agreement as India claimed Kashmir to be a bilateral issue. Moreover, it argued that the August 2019 move is for the people of Kashmir and they are pleased with it. Contrary to this, the Indian government has prisoned Kashmiris inside their homeland through curfews, internet blockade and enforced disappearances. India is hitting a new low as it slipped further to 161st position in the World Press Freedom Index from last year’s 150 rank out of 180 countries. Through restricting media, they are trying to hide the real face of Indian atrocities in Kashmir. G-20 Summit is another attempt by India to keep the façade of normalcy alive in IIOJ&K. It has planned its 3rd G-20 Summit on tourism in summer capital Srinagar of India-Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, an internationally recognized disputed territory between Pakistan and India. As per international law, India cannot hold such meetings in an internationally recognized disputed territory. The G-20 countries are becoming part of it instead of raising concerns over violation of International law. It is an attempt from India to deflect world attention from its gross human rights violation in IIOJ&K where illegal and arbitrary arrests, political persecutions, restrictions and even suppression of free media and human rights defenders continue to escalate. To set the stage for the G-20 Summit, Indian occupational forces have started cordoning off the areas surrounding the planned location for the summit and abducting the youth to ward them off from depicting the true picture of India to the leaders of G-20 via protests and rallies. If India-Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is as prosperous as India wants to portray to the world, then why are they so much concerned about the youth of Kashmir holding protests and anti-India rallies. Holding of G-20 meeting in Kashmir while massive human rights violations are ongoing is lending support to attempts by India to normalize the repressive and brutal denial of democratic and other basic rights of Kashmiri Muslims and minorities. G-20 instead of facilitating India in their attempt to normalize the gross violation of human rights, they should uphold International human rights obligations and the United Nation Declaration of Human Rights. The situation in Kashmir should be decried and condemned, not pushed under the rug and ignored with the holding of this meeting.
The UN rapporteur even raised concerns over the G-20 meeting to be held in IIOJ&K; ‘G-20 will provide veneer to façade of normalcy’. The rapporteur also highlighted the gross human rights violations in Kashmir dramatically increased after the revocation of special status of Kashmir. The Indian government tried to change the demographic character of the state via revocation of article 370 accompanied by Hindus moving in IIOJ&K in large number to engulf native Kashmiris in their own land. The Genocide Watch Report even warned about India preparing ground for ethnic cleansing of Muslims. Amid ongoing atrocities and gross violation of human rights in Kashmir, the issue of Kashmir should not be seen through the lens of normalcy India is trying to portray via G-20 meeting but as a humanitarian crisis that has made Kashmir a nuclear flash point endangering peace and stability of the entire South Asian region. —The writer is a Research Officer at the Centre for International Strategic Studies, AJK. Email:

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Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir