On the anniversary of scraping of J&K’s special status, Pakistan released a political map, claiming Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Junagadh in Gujarat state as their own. The map which surprisingly includes Junagarh means that Pakistan is questioning the February 1948 plebiscite.
India rejected Pakistan’s move as “an exercise in political absurdity”, saying it was laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian state of Gujarat and “our Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and of Ladakh”. The statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) further said “these ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility”. “In fact, this new effort only confirms the reality of Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism,” it added.
This event took place during a meeting in Islamabad, attended Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, his cabinet and senior officials. The Pakistani PM also went on to say that this was only the first step towards a long political struggle to achieve rights of self-determination for the Kashmiri people.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani lashed out at Khan, calling the changes in the map “preposterous”.
“This so-called “political map” of Pakistan released by Prime Minister Imran Khan today is a glaring example of how disconnected Pakistan PM is with ground realities. Pakistan will never succeed in its wicked design of undermining the unity and integrity of India,” Rupani tweeted.
Pakistan has been planning to observe August 5, the day J&K’ special status was revoked as “Youm-e-Istehsal” (day of exploitation) and Khan is scheduled to go to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, to deliver a speech.
The new map of Pakistan includes the whole of Jammu & Kashmir as part of the country’s territory, describing it as “Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and a “disputed territory” whose final status is to be decided in line with UN Security Council resolutions.
Himachal Pradesh is depicted as the new international border. However, India has brought it up in the UN that the matters of Kashmir remain it’s own and no third parties’ interferences will be appreciated.
During the ceremony at which the map was unveiled, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the map includes Siachen glacier as part of Pakistan to challenge the region’s “illegal occupation by India”. He further said the map depicts the boundary in the disputed Sri Creek region of Gujarat according to Pakistan’s declared position on the issue to counter India’s claim.
PM Khan called the new map as a “historic” step that he said was supported by his cabinet, the Kashmiri leadership and all political parties. in the country “The move reflects the desires of the people of Pakistan and Kashmir and rejects India’s illegal action of August 5 last year,” he said.
The new map will be “used in schools and colleges and internationally” and the “only solution to the Kashmir issue can be found under the UN Security Council resolutions, which clearly give the right to the Kashmiri people to vote on whether to go with Pakistan or India,” Khan said.
Amidst this, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed fresh support for Pakistan’s stand on the Kashmir issue. “President Arif Alvi and President Erdogan exchanged Eidul Azha greetings in a telephonic conversation. Important matters, including Kashmir and Covid-19, were discussed,” a tweet by Alvi’s office said.