Tuesday the 4 August 2020 heralded on a regular day in the world of Indian atrocities with one emerging detail – a new political map unveiled by the land of the pure, Pakistan; a country India is thoroughly jealous of. The map was the ire of the Indian leadership as it showed the Himalayan region as “illegally” occupied territory by India, but that wasn’t all. In a disclosure that reflects the sentiments of millions of Pakistanis all over the world, it revealed all of Kashmir as belonging to Pakistan.
I call the move a brilliant response to India’s wishful adventurism of showing Indian Occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir as part of its territory in a ridiculously comical map revealed by India a little bit earlier. What rubs salt quite appropriately in India’s scar is the fact the map was endorsed by the Kashmiri leadership. Feeling politically acrimonious, last year on Aug. 5 2019, the Indian government stripped the Muslim-majority disputed state of Kashmir of its autonomy.
Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir was also split into two federally administered territories. Simultaneously, New Delhi locked the region down, detaining thousands of people that included dozens of top politicians, imposing movement restrictions, and enforcing a communications blackout. India has been walking in its sleep. On Tuesday, earlier this week, releasing the political map during a meeting in Islamabad attended by his cabinet and senior officials, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said this was the first step towards a political struggle to achieve the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people.
The Prime Minister described the unveiling of the map as a “historic” move that he said was backed by his cabinet, the Kashmiri leadership, and all of Pakistan’s political parties. “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. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “This gives a clear message to the people of Kashmir, that the government of Pakistan was with them in the past and will stand with them in the future”. Asserting that this was a “historical day,” Qureshi stated, “Our destination is Srinagar”.
Unveiling of the New Political Map
The unveiling of the map by the Pakistani government mirrors the step taken by the Nepalese cabinet to introduce a new political map that incorporated territories claimed by India. The Nepal parliament had subsequently changed the country’s constitution to update the contours of the map in its national coat of arms. India has repeatedly tried to justify its controversial actions in Indian Occupied Kashmir by claiming that Kashmir is its internal issue.
This absurd approach of the Modi government regarding Kashmir is ironic, considering that the Kashmir issue was internationalized by India itself when it went to the United Nations in 1948. Unfortunately, after the UN issued resolutions in favor of the Kashmiri people rather than the Republic of India, the long-running policy had been to avoid acting on them. Modi has since decided to violate them outright. Besides, the fact of the matter remains that Map-based propaganda is an Indian ploy for awhile. It has long issued maps depicting their territorial claims, regardless of actual control.
Since 1961, the country has even criminalized excluding any part of Kashmir from a map. The rest of the world, along with Pakistan, has always acknowledged the region as disputed. But, for what all it’s worth the new map sets things right for once.