The federal cabinet of Pakistan on Tuesday unveiled a new political map of the country, which includes India Occupied Kashmir in its entirety. The approval was given in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday during which participants were apprised of the latest situation in the occupied Muslim-majority region.
Speaking during a live televised address to the nation, the premier shared the details of the decisions made in the Cabinet meeting.
“One of the most important days in Pakistan’s history”: Imran Khan
“Today is the most important day in the history that we are presenting a new political map of Pakistan before the world,” he said.
“The cabinet has approved the map,” he said, adding that the Kashmiri and national leadership has also green-signalled it. The new map would now be used in school and colleges as well, he added.
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) August 4, 2020
The map identifies Indian 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.
The final status of “Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir” was to be decided in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions, is clearly written on the map.
What is Pakistan’s new political map?
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi explained the changes made in the new map, saying it reflected the will and aspirations of the people of Pakistan. Qureshi congratulated the incumbent government for unveiling a map of the country, which included Gilgit-Baltistan as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The foreign minister added that it had also been made clear that Siachen is a part of Pakistan. “[Through the map] we are challenging their illegal occupation and claiming our right to the area,” he said.
Speaking of Sir Creek, the foreign minister said: “Pakistan denies the Indian claims that it goes towards the West; we have denied that claim and made it clear that our border is on the East.” Qureshi said India had made these claims in a bid to capture several acres of land that were Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone.
The erstwhile FATA has been merged with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the map, he added.
Asserting that this was a “historical day,” Qureshi stated, “Our destination is Srinagar”.
India calls new map “Political Absurdity”
Within a few hours, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that it had noted the “so-called “political map” of Pakistan that has been released by Prime Minister Imran Khan”.
“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,” said the statement.
Stating that these “ridiculous assertions” have neither legal validity nor international credibility, the MEA press note added, “In fact, this new effort only confirms reality of Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism”.
Indian government sources confirmed that there is no territorial difference in the claims made by Pakistan in the new map, asserting that it was largely a publicity exercise.
Indian congress calls Pakistan political map “ridiculous”
The Congress of India on Tuesday slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and called him “mischievous” for unveiling a new political map of Pakistan which includes the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and other Indian territories as part of Pakistan.
Congress Treasurer and senior leader Ahmed Patel said: “Ridiculous and mischievous of Pakistan to show J&K, Ladakh, Junagadh and Manavdar as part of Pakistan. I want to remind him that due to Sardar Patel’s tireless efforts in 1948, the people of Junagadh unanimously chose to be part of India.”
He said that publishing imaginary maps will not reverse the facts and such mindless attempts exposed Pakistan’s “nefarious” designs.
The Congress leader, who hails from Gujarat, asserted that J&K, Ladakh and Junagadh are “integral parts of India”.
Pakistani citizens elated at the new move
Twitterati applauded the move as belated but the right one. They have been unequivocal in their support of the new map which also underscores the Pakistani nation’s commitment to the Kashmir cause.
History will unfold in new ways=
GB and #AJK will be become part of Pakistan.
— Jan Achakzai / جان اچکزئی (@Jan_Achakzai) August 4, 2020
Pakistan was also lent support all the way from Turkey, with famed actress Esra Bilgic (of Ertugrul fame) hailing the move as the first step for Kashmir’s freedom.
— Esra Bilgiç (@esbilgicreal) August 4, 2020
Managing Editor of this paper also weighed in and lauded the move as the right one for the future in dealings with an increasingly rogue India.
Pakistan has shown courage and has a leader who is not afraid of the west. Western hypocritical nations never said to India and never will for their own reasons. 1947 UK cheated Pakistan because they needed India in the commonwealth and Mountbatten had no morals! https://t.co/KARUlcn56G
— najma minhas (@MinhasNajma) August 4, 2020
Pakistan rejects Indian accusations on new political map
Pakistan has rebuffed the Indian reaction on Pakistan’s political map which integrated Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) in the country’s territory for the first time in history.
“We categorically reject the statement made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Pakistan’s political map. Through sophistry and obfuscation, India cannot create a smokescreen for its illegal and unacceptable actions in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir, including those taken since August 5, 2019,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a statement on Tuesday night.
It is preposterous for a country that is compulsively expansionist, and a brazen practitioner of state-terrorism, to level charges against others, Farooqui said in response.
“India has been in illegal occupation of parts of Jammu & Kashmir since 1947 and has continuously violated UN Security Council resolutions for decades. Despite its brutal suppression of Kashmiris for over 72 years, India has been unable to force them into submission,” she added.
The official communiqué clarified that Pakistan’s position remains clear and unambiguous that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute lies in the “realisation of the Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations”.
GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources