All member states of the G-20 must be made aware of the consequences of it being inadvertently led into a geopolitical and geostrategic quagmire by India. The US, in particular, has the most responsible and critical role to play to obviate such a diplomatic faux pas which will not only negate the G20’s purpose and objectives, make this summit extremely controversial but will also further vitiate the already volatile regional strategic environment. India must also realise that holding the summit in IIOJK will evoke strong reactions from the UN, Pakistan, Kashmiri Muslims and China.
India is clearly following a policy of multi-alignment. It is a declared strategic partner of the US without prejudice to its booming $125 billion bilateral trade with China and its decades old special, multidimensional relationship with Russia. It perhaps intends to continue its policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hound. This is tantamount to a callous disregard of the US.
The US however, feels compelled to muster India to its ranks to counter China. Its grand strategy perhaps entails engaging China on multiple fronts like the Himalayas, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions etc. India has been or will be tasked to probably keep China and its PLA engaged in the Himalayas, along the LAC and in particular in the larger Kashmir region including Ladakh, too. Holding a G-20 summit in such a sensitive regional environment would be a blatant affront that China will not take lightly. It will react. Could this possibly be a display of India’s grossly misplaced hubris and megalomania, a rather sorry attempt to legitimise and get international recognition of its illegal occupation of the territory or is it being done with tacit US sanction and approval for some far deeper strategic objectives?
Either way, it will have very serious ramifications. If the US approves the G20 summit to take place in the IIOJK then will the rest of the member states of G-20 just tag along? They have their own individual and independent relationships with China and Pakistan and positions on the Kashmir issue too. This will be a gross geopolitical gaffe that will very adversely affect not only the validity of the summit under discussion but also the G-20’s international stature and perhaps its future as well. The G-20 will stand polarised beyond repair.
The US’ continuing appeasement of India is perhaps based on the expectation that one day it will militarily confront China and its PLA as a part of a larger strategic design. However, the US must review its assessment of India’s military proclivities. Post 1962 Indo-China war, a badly chastened India has largely followed a strategy of conflict avoidance with China. It has an agreement with it that forbids the use of firearms astride the LAC. So, if India will not fire a shot in anger against the Chinese for its own ostensible cause will it do so on US’ behalf? India has apparently also drawn the right lessons from the Russo-Ukraine war. It is aware of the horrendous cost that Ukraine is paying for falling prey to the US’ strategy to counter and reduce Russia as an adversary of consequence. India is unlikely to play a similar role against China. US Strategy of Offshore Balancing is not likely to succeed with it. So, whether the G-20 summit are held in IIOJK or not, it is least likely to have any bearing on India obliging the US with a war against China!
Pakistan must undertake pre-emptive measures to forestall this travesty of justice, fair play and violation of international conventions. It must work to generate a swell against this Indian move from within and without the G-20. It must adopt a proactive policy that engages all stakeholders and apprises them of the ramifications of such an exercise. A well-considered, well-funded and well directed diplomatic and media offensive is warranted. Pakistan must engage the UNGA, UNSC, the G-20 member states, OIC, SCO, SAARC and China. Foremost, it must engage the G-20 Troika. In this case, it would be Indonesia as the previous President and Brazil as the future one.
Engaging India is obviously futile. Pakistan must unambiguously put across its position on IIOJK in the light of the relevant UNSC Resolutions, international conventions, bilateral agreements, human rights, civil and social liberties and freedoms of the Kashmiri Muslims etc. It must highlight the sensitive strategic environment IIOJK and the adverse consequences of a G-20 summit in the disputed territory. It must also sound the G-20 out on the possibility of the Indians carrying out yet another false flag operation to slight, demean and denigrate Pakistan during the summit.
Pakistan must approach the UNGA or UNSC and expect them to acknowledge G-20’s and India’s blatant violations of its resolutions and expect it to take a principled stand on it. Pakistan must also directly engage Saudi Arabia, Turkiye and Indonesia as members of the G-20 and acquaint them with its reservations on the subject. Pakistan must also send emissaries to all the members of the G-20, OIC, SCO, SAARC etc to apprise them of its sensitivities on the issue. Most critically, Pakistan and China must coordinate their policies and adopt mutually supporting positions on the issue. China has already expressed its disapproval of such an exercise but has withheld its further response so far.
The G-20 must not allow itself to be so exploited. The US must rein in its unrestrained appeasement of India. A reality check is in order. Indians are least likely to bleed and die for it against China. India arrogantly and mistakenly feels itself to be indispensable to the world. The G20 must move to maintain good international order and not further impair an already very explosive strategic environment in the larger Kashmir Region. The G-20 must follow its objectives that essentially concern economic and financial issues and not get pulled into unwanted, unnecessary, unscrupulous geopolitical tiffs which violate and negate international conventions.