– By Snehi Suryash
On August 5, the Pakistan Prime Minister unveiled Pakistan’s new political map.
Which he claimed, negated India’s “illegal action of August last year”. A reference to the withdrawal of special privileges to Jammu & Kashmir under Art. 370.
The map was released on Tuesday evening by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. It has emerged on the first anniversary of the decision to scrap special status for J&K under Article 370.
Adding that the new map would be the “official map” of Pakistan after being approved by the Pakistani federal cabinet. And it would be the one used in schools and colleges.
Changes under the New Map
The map includes Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and parts of western Gujarat.
- The new map showed the entire Kashmir as its territory. However, the part of Kashmir and Ladakh border with China was described as “Frontier Undecided.
- The LOC had been extended to the Karakoram Pass, making Siachen as part of Pakistan. The LoC had been marked by a red dotted line.
- J&K had been described as “Disputed Territory – Final status to be decided in line with relevant UNSC resolutions”.
- The map also included change in the international border lines. Lines along the eastern bank of Sir Creek, which was previously along the western bank.
- The Pakistan cabinet also approved the decision to rename a major road in Islamabad. The road was previously called Kashmir Highway, which is to be changed to Srinagar Highways.
But strangely, while the demand for a plebiscite will continue on the part of Islamabad, Pakistan has gone ahead and declared that J&K is part of Pakistan along with some portions of Ladakh to the North and Gujarat to the West. The move is being seen as an attempt to provoke India.
Indian Government’s Response
On Tuesday the govt. described as “political absurdity” a map released by neighbour Pakistan. India’s capital New Delhi tore into the map, which it called a “ridiculous assertion without any global credibility”.
“We have seen a so-called “political map” of neighbour Pakistan that has been released by Prime Minister Imran Khan”, the government said.
The government also called it as an exercise in political absurdity. Laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian state of Gujarat and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Also added that these ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility. In fact, this only confirms the reality of nieghbour Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism.
Recently, India’s neighbour Nepal had also gone ahead & unveiled a new map. The same showing portions of territory in India’s Uttarakhand State—Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh–as part of Nepal. New Delhi had objected to that move as well.
However, the impact of PM Khan’s action on India-Pakistan ties is very significant. By reopening 1947-1948 maps , Pakistan has given up on bilateralism of 1972 Shimla Agreement and 1999 Lahore Declaration. Two agreements that committed to both nations to resolving bilateral disputes bilaterally and paved a way for unilateralism.
India has also pointed out that
Pakistan is still on the Grey List of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Early last month, during a UN virtual event on counter-terrorism, India called on Pakistan to “introspect why it is universally acknowledged as the international epicentre of terrorism”.
A two-day curfew has been observed in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the order, the Srinagar DM said the administration had information about “separatists and Pakistan-sponsored groups planning to observe August 5 as Black Day”.