After Nepal, Pakistan unveils new political map; Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh claimed, India retorts
KATHMANDU: On Tuesday, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan unveiled a new political map of the country including the territories of Jammu & Kashmir and parts of Ladakh.
The 'event' unfolded a day ahead of the first anniversary of Indian government's decision to revoke article 370, which guaranteed certain special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the bifurcation of the state into two Union territories.
Furthermore, the map also claims Junagadh, Manavadar and Sir Creek in Gujarat as Pakistani territories.
As per a report on Dawn, a Pakistani news daily, the map clearly identifies occupied Kashmir as a "disputed territory" and states that the final status will be decided in line with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
"The map rejects the illegal steps taken by India on August 5 last year, he said, adding that the federal cabinet and the country's political leadership had supported it," states the report.
In a video message, Pakistan PM Imran Khan has said that Kashmir issue could only be solved by following the UNSC resolutions which give the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination. "Their right to self-determination, given to them by the world community, has still not been given. And we clearly want to say to the world that it is the only solution, We will do political struggle, we don't believe in military solutions. We will remind the UN again and again that you had made a promise [to the people of Kashmir] which you did not fulfill," said Khan.
India retorts, says it is a politically absurd act
India has slammed Pakistan for unveiling the new map incorporating the disputed territories and called it an exercise in political absurdity.
India's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement called out on Pakistan's 'obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism'.
"This is 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," spokesperson for the Government of India shared the Ministry's statement.
"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."
Pakistan's move comes at a time when relations between India and Nepal are strained over similar issue. Nepal recently released its new political map incorporating Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, territories which Indian claims belong to it.
India, meanwhile, is also in process of resolving border stand-off with China involving Galwan valley where 20 Indian soldiers were killed as violent clash erupted between Indian and Chinese troops in the area.