June 5, 2023

MOON Desk: India’s attempt to normalize its occupation of Kashmir suffered a serious blow as a number of G20 countries including China, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Egypt refused to attend moot in Srinagar.

China took the lead in boycotting the event by firmly opposing to holding meetings in disputed territory

The people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir hail the decision of these countries particularly of China as a brave step in solidarity with the oppressed the Kashmiris.

Experts believe that the G20 boycott by key player like China is seen as a failed diplomatic attempt by India to normalize its illegal hold of Kashmir.

The UK-based newspaper The Guardian while commenting on the G20 meeting wrote that India’s presidency of the group has become mired in controversy after the boycott by China and other important member countries.

The France based news agency, AFP, under the headline “A G20 tourism meeting began on Monday in Kashmir”, wrote that “Delhi seeks to project an image of normality in a region wracked for decades by violence.”

“Both China and Pakistan have condemned holding the event in the disputed Muslim-majority territory, which is split between New Delhi and Islamabad, both of whom claim it in full,” the agency added.

“…India wants to show that what officials call ‘normalcy and peace’ are returning to the region after New Delhi revoked its limited autonomy in 2019 and took direct control, imposing an extended lockdown,” the AFP went on to add.

“Dissent has been criminalised, media freedoms curbed and public protests limited in what critics say is a drastic curtailment of civil liberties by Indian authorities,” the AFP story ran. “…many checkpoints — wrapped in metal mesh and barbed wire — were dismantled overnight, and some paramilitary police stood hidden behind G20 advertising panels in what appeared to be an effort to minimise the security forces’ visibility,” it added.

“Does the Modi government think that tourism can be promoted in closed conference halls next to a scenic lake being patrolled by marine commandos, with surveillance drones overhead?,” the AFP noted while quoting a columnist Bharat Bhushan as having written in one of his articles on the meeting.

“Such staged events make it clear that the situation in J&K is far from normal,” the Paris-based media outlet added.

“Residents have chafed under the stepped-up security measures, with one describing the situation as ‘just a facade’ on Monday. Hundreds have been detained in police stations and thousands, including shopkeepers, have received calls from officials warning against any ‘signs of protest or trouble’,” a senior official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

 

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