G20 Summit is meant to engineer a façade of normalcy in Kashmir. Dr. Mir
Washington, D.C. April 16, 2023
The Kashmir Diaspora Coalition (KDC) and its international affiliate organizations—-World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Washington DC; Kashmir House Istanbul; Kashmir Civitas, Canada; World Kashmir Freedom Movement, London; Tehreek-Kashmir, UK and EU and Kashmir Campaign Global, London have sent letters to all Heads of State of G20 countries. The letter clearly emphasizes that any G20 meeting in the disputed territory of Kashmir is meant to engineer a facade of normalcy and deceive the world into believing that the situation in Kashmir is safe and secure. The letter alludes to the following facts:
This controversial decision aims to divert global attention from the core issue of the occupation of a people without their consent. It creates ambiguity around the matter and undermines the legitimacy of the Kashmiris’ demand for a plebiscite in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
The current Indian government, as you are aware, is led by a fascist, majoritarian and supremacist organization that has been implicated in several crimes against humanity. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have all condemned Hindutva fascism and consequent lynching of Muslims, Christians, Dalits and Sikhs. Moreover, this Indian government has unilaterally and unlawfully revoked the special autonomous status of the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019. That revocation is a flagrant violation of international law and several UNSC resolutions. Worse, India has arrested human rights defenders such as Khurram Pervez and numerous journalists for merely documenting the aforesaid crimes and daily indignities that Kashmiris endure. Would you support the normalization of a radical fascist ideology that is premised on inequality and an abhorrence of freedom?
It is worth recalling that the personal visits of Members of the European Parliament to Kashmir last year was misrepresented by the Government of India as an official EU delegation. Rightly, many EU participants protested this deception. Such public relations stunts are meant to engineer a facade of normalcy and deceive the world into believing that the situation in Kashmir is safe and secure. It is not.
Therefore, we ask you to not participate in the false manufacture of normalcy by lending credibility to an aggressive state that commits human rights violations, unlawful arrests and persecution. Indeed, the people of the disputed territory trust that you will not permit the settler-colonial Indian state to use the G20 Summit to project its baseless narrative of normalcy without addressing the concerns, desires, and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Having G20 meeting in Kashmir is akin to a situation in the past if any nation could conduct business with apartheid government of South Africa. The Summit or meeting in Kashmir will send a wrong signal to other fascist regimes that as long as commercial interests are saved the world order can be compromised.
We hope that in light of the territory’s disputed status, you will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation and encourage the Government of India to change the summit’s location or not participate.
Lastly, we sincerely hope that the G20 countries, as signatories to the universal declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva convention, will adopt a definitive pro-people stance. It is your credibility on the line and we urge you to stand firm and refuse to be weaponized in the disempowerment and subjugation of a hapless people.
Dr. Ghulam N. Mir is the Chairman, Kashmir Diaspora Coalition and President of World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Washington, D.C.