India on Tuesday described as an “train in political absurdity” a brand new map issued by Pakistan that lays declare to the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and Junagadh in Gujarat state, on the eve of the primary anniversary of the scrapping of J&Ok’s particular standing.
Releasing the political map throughout a gathering in Islamabad attended by his cupboard and senior officers, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan mentioned this was step one in the direction of a political wrestle to attain the correct of self-determination for the Kashmiri individuals.
Hours later, India’s exterior affairs ministry described the “so-called ‘political map’ of Pakistan” launched by Khan as “an train in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories within the Indian state of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and of Ladakh”.
“These ridiculous assertions have neither authorized validity nor worldwide credibility. The truth is, this new effort solely confirms [the] actuality of Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism,” the ministry mentioned in a quick assertion, repeating New Delhi’s assertion that Islamabad makes use of terror as an instrument of state coverage.
Over the previous few days, the Pakistani management has pulled out all stops to rake up the Kashmir challenge forward of the primary anniversary of the Indian authorities’s determination on August 5, 2019 to scrap Jammu & Kashmir’s particular standing below Article 370 of the Structure, and cut up the state into two UTs.
Pakistan’s new map contains the entire of the UT of Jammu & Kashmir as a part of the nation’s territory, describing it as “Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and a “disputed territory” whose ultimate standing is to be determined consistent with UN Safety Council resolutions. The boundary of Himachal Pradesh is depicted because the worldwide border.
In a nod to China’s sensitivities, the map doesn’t depict the Ladakh area, with a legend stating “frontier undefined”. An annotation on the map states the boundary on this space will probably be determined by “sovereign authorities involved after the ultimate settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute”. Through the ceremony at which the map was unveiled, Pakistan’s international minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi referred to the India-China border standoff in Ladakh and mentioned Pakistan, too, has a view on the matter.
Qureshi additionally mentioned the map contains Siachen glacier as a part of Pakistan to problem the area’s “unlawful occupation by India”. He additional mentioned the map depicts the boundary within the disputed Sri Creek area of Gujarat in response to Pakistan’s acknowledged place on the difficulty to problem India’s declare.
Khan described the disclosing of map as a “historic” transfer that he mentioned was backed by his cupboard, the Kashmiri management and all of Pakistan’s political events. “The transfer displays the needs of the individuals of Pakistan and Kashmir and rejects India’s unlawful motion of August 5 final yr,” he mentioned, talking in Urdu.
The brand new map will probably be “utilized in faculties and faculties and internationally” and the “solely resolution to the Kashmir challenge will be discovered below the UN Safety Council resolutions, which clearly give the correct to the Kashmiri individuals to vote on whether or not to go together with Pakistan or India,” Khan mentioned.
The map additionally depicts the Junagadh and Manavadar area of India’s Gujarat state as a part of Pakistan. The nawab of Junagadh had opted to accede to Pakistan in September 1947, earlier than fleeing from India along with his household the next month. Junagadh voted overwhelmingly to stick with India in a plebiscite held within the area in 1948. Specialists imagine Pakistan has no authorized floor for claiming the area.
India’s transfer to nullify Article 370 final yr had triggered a robust response from Pakistan, with whom India’s ties had been then at an all-time low following the standoff over the Pulwama terror assault. It was additionally opposed by Pakistan’s “iron brother” ally China, which believed it could have an effect on its territorial claims in Ladakh, particularly after India included Aksai Chin area in new maps of the union territories.
Pakistan plans to watch August 5 as “Youm-e-Istehsal” (day of exploitation) and Khan is scheduled to go to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), to ship a speech. On Monday, Pakistan’s international and defence ministers visited areas alongside the Line of Management (LoC) to boost the Kashmir challenge.
The Pakistani management has additionally tried to mobilise help for its place on Kashmir from the nation’s conventional allies, with solely Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assuring Khan and President Arif Alvi of his nation’s backing on the difficulty.
On Tuesday, Khan repeated his allegation that India is “attempting to settle individuals from exterior in order that Kashmiris turn out to be a minority”. He added: “The map is step one and we’ll launch a political wrestle. We don’t imagine in army options, we imagine in political options.”
Qureshi additionally mentioned the Kashmir Freeway in Islamabad has been named the Srinagar Freeway. Solidarity walks, photograph exhibitions and seminars may also be organised to protest towards alleged atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir, he mentioned.
Educational Happymon Jacob, who carefully tracks India-Pakistan relations, mentioned Islamabad ought to “cease mouthing the worn-out platitude that it helps the Kashmiris’ proper to self-determination”.
“It solely seeks to wrest Kashmir from India,” he mentioned, including that making the LoC the worldwide boundary “is the one resolution accessible to both aspect”.