On the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, China and Turkey have denounced India’s move on Jammu and Kashmir but have decided to stay silent on Pakistan’s unveiling of its new political map claiming not just the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir but also parts of Gujarat.
As reported earlier by EurAsian Times, 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.
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 Ladakh”.
China also repeated its opposition to “any unilateral change to the status quo” in Jammu and Kashmir, echoing its statements on the issue last year.
“China follows closely the situation in the Kashmir region,” said Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson. “Our position is consistent and clear. This issue is a dispute left over from history between Pakistan and India. That is an objective fact established by the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India. Any unilateral change to the status quo is illegal and invalid.”
Other than China, Turkey is the only country to put out a statement on the first anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir’s new status in the Indian constitution.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoycriticising said that the move “has further complicated the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and does not contribute to peace and stability in the region”. He repeated his call for dialogue to resolve the issue under United Nations charters and resolutions.
Pakistan immediately hailed Turkey’s statement. “The position taken by Turkey was eminently sensible. It was a position that both Pakistan and India should have immediately accepted, which Pakistan did by the way,” said Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey.
“Turkey called for de-escalation, meaningful dialogue, adherence to international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, and offering its good offices for mediation,” he added.
On being asked about Beijing’s stand on a question of a new map issued by Pakistan, Wang refrained from criticising the move said, “I have already stated China’s position on the Kashmir issue,” adding that he would not repeat his statement. Like Beijing, Turkey chose to remain silent on Pakistan’s new map that was issued and that counts Indian territories as its own.
India responded to Beijing saying “not to comment on the internal affairs” of other countries. “The Chinese side has no locus standi whatsoever on this matter and is advised not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations,” said Anurag Srivastava, Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson.
“The map is also telling commentary about Pakistan’s relationship with its ‘iron brother’ China that has been engaged in a standoff with India for the last three months in East Ladakh,” wrote Shishir Gupta, from HT.
“PM Khan, who is often accused of reducing Pakistan as a client-state of Xi Jinping’s China, has not only kept Shaksgam Valley and Aksai Chin out of its cartographic expansion but also left this frontier undefined to let China draw the line on the map,” he added.
He further said that “the so-called new political map released by PM Imran Khan sounds a death knell to the self-determination movement among separatists in Kashmir Valley as Islamabad has now co-opted Jammu and Kashmir, leaving no space for either plebiscite or independent Kashmir.
“This does not come as a surprise to Kashmir watchers in New Delhi as both self-determination and so-called freedom struggle was a ruse for cross border terror activities.”