New Delhi’s Plan for Hosting G20 Summit and Kashmir Issue

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, has taken various revolutionary measures to change New Delhi’s position in global political affairs. To align the domestic politics of India with the changing patterns of international politics, Modi’s government has taken different political steps against the territorially adjoining nations where Pakistan is an exception. The decades-long conflicted interaction between New Delhi and Islamabad became the fundamental factor behind Modi’s decision for taking more aggressive and less peaceful measures against Pakistan. The mainstream pattern of New Delhi’s South Asian policy mainly revolves around the idea of keeping India a regionally dominating and an internationally influential actor. The combination of both objectives has resulted in its offensive behaviour in its home region.

In the debates on Indian offensive behaviour in its domestic region, the issue of Kashmir cannot be ignored. The changing attributes of South Asian regional politics have witnessed various phases of the Kashmir conflict between Pakistan and India. The inflexible standings of the two nuclear rivals has resulted in India’s offensive behaviour against Pakistan’s defensive policies, the combination of which has resulted in an unending arms race. In line with the policies of previous governments, the contemporary BJP regime has unexceptionally adopted various policies to undermine Islamabad’s position on the Kashmir issue while ignoring the strategic attributes of the nuclearized regional order of South Asia. The Modi government’s plans to host the G20 summit meeting in Kashmir is an appropriate example which could let the international community validate an offensively assertive position of New Delhi on the disputed areas.

The proposed plan appeared in the Indian mainstream media when the Indian Ministry for External Affairs (MEA) announced the selection of IIOJK as a location for hosting the international community under the umbrella of G20. The G20 is a multilateral platform of twenty governments committed to upholding the scope of economic development and prosperity in the contemporary world. Its presidency rotates between its members based on a Troika principle which consists of three states, the possessor of the presidency with its successor and predecessor. Presently, Indonesia holds the presidency of this multilateral framework of twenty members, in which Italy is the predecessor and India will be the successor state. Accordingly, India will assume the presidency in 2023 after Indonesia. As an active Troika member, India has started preparing to use the G20 platform for its geostrategic and geo-economics interests, which are mainly linked to South Asian regional politics. In this, India’s conflicted interaction with Pakistan has introduced different political and diplomatic moves to keep the regional politics in its favour. Islamabad’s quest for containing sufficient counterbalancing potential against Indian regional hegemonic designs is the fundamental driving force behind New Delhi’s offensively inflexible standing on the Kashmir dispute. In fact, the objective of hosting the G20 summit meeting there is directly associated with the Modi government’s desire to portray normality in the occupied areas of Kashmir while undermining Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue.

Hosting the international community in the IIOJK can provide an opportunity to let the international community realize the actual suffering of the Kashmiri people. No doubt, the Modi government will not let the invited leaders from the world’s capitals freely investigate or examine the situation in the region, and an independent interaction of representatives of different nations with the Muslim community is difficult to visualize now because Modi’s decision plan for arranging the G20 meeting will be a calculated move aimed purely at serving Indian interests. However, the impartial and neutral role of the international community can create an opportunity for the Kashmiri Muslim population living under the occupied forces of India.

Modi’s government intends to show normalcy to the world, an objective which is mainly supported by the Four-Nation investment summit held in the IIOJK in March 2022. This summit brought the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the occupied areas of Kashmir and encouraged them to examine it for investment purposes. This meeting was mainly designed to establish a connection between the Indian-occupied areas of Kashmir and the economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Additionally, the plans of the Indian government under the leadership of Modi to accept the changed status of disputed areas of Kashmir in the Indian Constitution have proposed various other political models for suppressing the anti-Indian voices of Kashmir. New Delhi’s arrangements for holding the Jammu & Kashmir Global Investor’s Summit is another example to validate the argument that the Indian government is determined to encourage the leaders from around the world to acknowledge the changed status of occupied areas of Kashmir under the Indian Constitution. It is pertinent to mention here that the plan of arranging an intergovernmental summit for trading purposes will communicate the increasing diplomatic strength and economic potential of India to the entire world, but it will disregard the internationally accepted disputed status of Kashmir under the nuclear shadows.

These attempts of the Modi administration are fundamentally intended to suppress the voices of indigenous Kashmiri people rising against the occupying forces of India, parallel to overriding the concerns of the international community on the massive human rights abuses in IIOJK. Proponents of human rights from around the globe have categorically highlighted the miserable conditions of the Kashmiri Muslim population in their independent reports. Based on this scenario, the hosting of different gatherings at national and international levels endeavours to undermine the Kashmir issue. Modi’s government has preferred to manipulate the economic interests of its leading trade partners purely for geostrategic interests. The continuation of this policy will not only ignore international humanitarian concerns on the Kashmir issue but will leave worse impacts on the regional security environment of the nuclearized subcontinent.

Furthermore, the weakening position of Islamabad on the Kashmir conflict will force the government of Pakistan to augment the existing level of its diplomatic forces across the world. Pakistan’s quest for raising its voices against the dramatically increasing human rights abuses in the IIOJK will also compel Pakistani leaders to emphasize the acquisition of sufficient counterbalancing potential against New Delhi’s offensive Kashmir policy. Therefore, the greater responsibility lies on the countries with active economic collaborations with New Delhi because the Indian trading partners from around the world could play an effective role in addressing the Kashmir issue. It is widely believed that the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict between two nuclear neighbours could be helpful in extending the vision of peace and stability in the nuclearized subcontinent.

New Delhi’s Plan for Hosting G20 Summit and Kashmir Issue

About Dr. Attiq ur Rehman 10 Articles
The author is Assistant Professor at National University of Modern Languages, (NUML) Islamabad

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