G20 Countries Take a Stand Against India’s Annexation of Kashmir

In a significant setback to India’s efforts to legitimize its controversial annexation of Kashmir, several G20 countries have either declined to attend or remain undecided about participating in a tourism conference scheduled to take place in Srinagar. China, at the forefront of this boycott, has expressed its opposition to holding meetings in disputed territories. Turkiye and Saudi Arabia, both G20 members, are yet to confirm their participation, while Egypt, a non-member but invited as a guest, has also not registered for the event.

Solidarity with the Oppressed People

It is encouraging to witness these nations taking a courageous stance in solidarity with the oppressed people of Kashmir. Although Srinagar may offer a picturesque backdrop for a tourism conference, the suffocating presence of India’s occupation and the countless lives lost among Kashmiris due to the actions of Indian forces warrant conscientious nations to abstain from participating in what remains an internationally recognized disputed territory.

India’s Attempts to ‘Sanitize’ the Situation

Reports emerging from the occupied territory indicate that India is making extensive efforts to whitewash the situation. Mehbooba Mufti, the former chief minister of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), has described India’s recent measures as “unprecedented” and encompassing arrests, raids, surveillance, and persecution leading up to the G20 conference. As highlighted by the UN special rapporteur on minority rights, India’s choice of organizing the meeting in Srinagar seeks to normalize the “brutal and repressive denial” of the rights of Kashmiri Muslims. Additionally, the rapporteur points out that the G20 unintentionally lends support to India’s human rights violations in the disputed region.

A Wake-Up Call for India’s Rulers

India’s leaders have displayed arrogance by considering Kashmir a non-issue on the international agenda since their annexation of the region in 2019. However, the objection raised by influential G20 members to the normalization of this occupation will serve as a rude awakening for many in New Delhi.

Global Players and the Plight of the Oppressed

While it is true that the international order is predominantly driven by realpolitik and lacks ethical guidelines, certain global players still advocate for the rights of oppressed peoples worldwide. It is particularly disheartening to witness Western members of the G20, who have vehemently criticized Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, readily endorsing India’s occupation of Kashmir.

The refusal and indecisiveness of G20 countries regarding the tourism conference in Srinagar signify a significant blow to India’s attempts to legitimize its annexation of Kashmir. This demonstration of solidarity with the oppressed people of the region sends a powerful message that the international community cannot turn a blind eye to human rights violations and disputed territories. As India’s rulers face the repercussions of their actions, it is essential for conscientious nations to continue advocating for justice, equity, and the rights of all oppressed peoples around the world.

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