The Tribune of May 17 reported that the UN Special Rapporteur (SR) Fernand de Varennes had tweeted that “holding a G20 meeting in J&K while massive human rights violations are ongoing is lending support to attempts by India to normalize the brutal and repressive denial of democratic and other rights of Kashmiri Muslims and minorities.”
Earlier, the SR had submitted his second report on Kashmir in 13 months to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In this report, the SR has mentioned the “rising graph of human rights violations and the killing of civilians by state authorities over the past year.”
In June 2018, the then Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein released the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) first report on the human rights situation in both parts of Kashmir, which was welcomed by Pakistan but rejected by India. A year later, the new chief Michelle Bachelet reached similar conclusions.
The tweet of the current SR mentioned above is a clear statement recommending the world organization not to let the G20 meeting be held in Srinagar from 22–24 May.
On May 12, Al Jazeera reported, “US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that the US is monitoring what he describes as a rise in human rights abuses in India by some officials. We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values and, to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials.”
But we should not forget what the leader of the historical political party that ruled the country for seven long decades after independence, and today sits on the opposition benches, makes an appeal to the Western countries and the US in a speech in London to intervene in India because “there is no democracy, no rule of law and no protection of human rights in his country.”
Earlier, during his visit to Pakistan, a prominent leader of his party had appealed to Pakistani leadership to remove Prime Minister Modi, and his party would iron out all angularities with Pakistan.
These are only a few insights into the mindset of some UNHRC officials and some agencies that have fallen prey to the unrelenting propaganda and hatred against India in some international circles from where it percolates down to the vulnerable and corrupt segments of global media.
India has issued a formal rejection of the report of the SR. We need not repeat India’s rebuttal. But we have one question from the SR, the UNHR chiefs, and other related agencies, including the opposition in the Indian Parliament: Did any of you or your agencies speak or write a single word about the genocide of 1990 of the minuscule minority of Kashmiri Hindus at the hands of the armed Islamic jihadists commissioned from across the border which led to the forced migration of nearly 3.5 million Kashmiri Hindus from their ten-thousand-year-old home and hearth?
Did anybody in the UNHRC speak about how the houses, lands, shops, orchards, and business units of this minority community were vandalized, looted, burnt, or illegally grabbed to date? It proves without a contradiction that all those sending baseless and prejudiced reports to the UN are either corrupt or covert supporters of religious extremism. Who does not know that the UN mindset has acquiesced to Islamic obduracy and Chinese hegemony?
These detractors have produced a plethora of false, baseless, and exaggerated stories to demonize India and indirectly cater to what Pakistan jihadism stands for. It has openly said it will not allow the G20 meeting to be held in Srinagar.
The recent attack on a military vehicle in the Poonch sector and the killing of five Indian soldiers is part of the Ghazvatul Khurasan-Kashmir mission of the ISIS outfit working in tandem with the Pakistan-based designated terrorist organizations like LeT or JeM or HuM etc.
It is easy for Pakistan to pronounce its opposition to the G20 meeting in Srinagar next week because of the fanaticism that has blinded its faculty of reason. The promotion of tourism is one of the G20 programs. Kashmir Valley is a world-renowned tourist destination, and this industry, involving millions of Kashmiris, has been almost monopolized by them.
Prime Minister Modi wants to make Kashmir the hub of international tourism, and he is directing his efforts toward that end. Hence, the Kashmiri Muslims understand very well that Pakistan and its cohorts want to deprive them of the bright future they envisage in mega schemes like the G20 meeting.
Fair and unbiased media should not only criticize for some shortcomings in the right spirit and not out of vengeance. It should have also enumerated the vision of India about the utility of G20 to humanity. We may list a few for the information of these ill-informed commentators.
The Economic Advisory Council to the PM recently released an occasional paper on challenges confronting the Group of Twenty and the need to craft appropriate policy responses by incorporating the concerns of the developing world or the Global South.
For example, on climate change, the paper emphasized increased assistance to developing countries to operationalize resilience measures and develop generous technology-sharing norms.
Notably, to help the Global South overcome post-pandemic economic challenges, the paper called for greater multilateral and bilateral funding for “build back broader” initiatives by implementing integrated infrastructure projects.
Since India took over the presidency last December, the Indian government has consistently tried to include diverse voices in G20 dialogs. A Voice Global South Summit was held in January to consult and incorporate views of developing countries into the agenda for the G20.
As of last month, more than 12,300 delegates from more than 110 nationalities have participated in various meetings of the G20. Thus, ministerial meetings and Sherpa tracks have been organized in India for more than 105 meetings about the G20’s engagement groups.
Through its G20 presidency, India is sending a message that as a leader in multilateral platforms, it will work to usher in inclusive agenda-setting practices and accelerate transparent processes to act on shared global challenges.
Numerous institutions across India are organizing G20-related conferences, workshops, seminars, and other events. The active participation of diverse segments of society in these events suggests a growing interest in international politics. With the spread of media and social-media platforms, there is an increasing understanding, even among the ordinary masses, that global developments impact their daily lives.
For example, everybody understands that an increase in energy prices is connected to the conflict in Ukraine.
More people travel out of India for work, education, or as tourists. In 2022 the number of students traveling abroad for higher studies increased by 68 percent to 750,365. With such a large diaspora in various parts of the world, the consequences of international conflicts are immediately felt within the country.
With these instances of the benefits of organizing G20 meetings in the country, India supports the UN’s aims and objectives and its Charter.
It is for the UN to decide whether they should send reactionaries and retrograded reporters to countries like India to assess the democratic and egalitarian policies of the Government of India. It is the naivety of the UN and its organs to paint a country black to serve their myopic visions.