India on Tuesday described as an “exercise 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 status.
Releasing the political map throughout a gathering in Islamabad attended by his cupboard and senior officers, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said this was step one in direction of a political battle to attain the suitable of self-determination for the Kashmiri folks.
Hours later, India’s exterior affairs ministry described the “so-called ‘political map’ of Pakistan” launched by Khan as “an exercise in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian state of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and of Ladakh”.
“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,” the ministry said 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 situation forward of the primary anniversary of the Indian authorities’s resolution on August 5, 2019 to scrap Jammu & Kashmir’s particular status under Article 370 of the Constitution, and break up the state into two UTs.
Pakistan’s new map consists of 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 status is to be determined according to UN Security 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 can be determined by “sovereign authorities concerned after the final settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute”. During 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 said Pakistan, too, has a view on the matter.
Qureshi additionally said the map consists of Siachen glacier as a part of Pakistan to problem the area’s “illegal occupation by India”. He additional said the map depicts the boundary within the disputed Sri Creek area of Gujarat based on Pakistan’s acknowledged place on the problem to problem India’s declare.
Khan described the revealing of map as a “historic” transfer that he said was backed by his cupboard, the Kashmiri management and all of Pakistan’s political events. “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, talking in Urdu.
The new map can 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.
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 together with his household the next month. Junagadh voted overwhelmingly to stick with India in a plebiscite held within the area in 1948. Experts consider Pakistan has no authorized floor for claiming the area.
India’s transfer to nullify Article 370 last year had triggered a powerful response from Pakistan, with whom India’s ties have 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 look at 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 Control (LoC) to boost the Kashmir situation.
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 problem.
On Tuesday, Khan repeated his allegation that India is “trying to settle people from outside so that Kashmiris become a minority”. He added: “The map is the first step and we will launch a political struggle. We don’t believe in military solutions, we believe in political solutions.”
Qureshi additionally said the Kashmir Highway in Islamabad has been named the Srinagar Highway. Solidarity walks, photo exhibitions and seminars can even be organised to protest in opposition to alleged atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
Academic Happymon Jacob, who intently tracks India-Pakistan relations, said Islamabad ought to “stop mouthing the worn-out platitude that it supports the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination”.
“It only seeks to wrest Kashmir from India,” he said, including that making the LoC the worldwide boundary “is the only solution available to either side”.