Pakistan rejects 'incorrect, legally untenable' political maps issued by India

Published November 3, 2019
Protestors shout slogans and march on a street in Srinagar, Indian occupied Kashmir. — AP/File
Protestors shout slogans and march on a street in Srinagar, Indian occupied Kashmir. — AP/File

Pakistan rejects the political maps of India "displaying the Jammu and Kashmir region and seeking to depict parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir within the territorial jurisdiction of India", said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Sunday.

A day earlier, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification detailing the boundaries of the so called union territories of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and also issued a new political map of India.

The new map now shows areas under AJK inside Ladakh, and not in Jammu and Kashmir as depicted earlier, reported Scroll.in on Saturday.

The move came after India on August 5, amid a harsh security and communication lockdown, revoked the special status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. On October 31, Indian authorities formally revoked the restive area’s constitutional autonomy and split it into two federal territories: one Jammu and Kashmir, and the other the Buddhist-dominated high altitude region of Ladakh.

The statement by the Foreign Office on Sunday said the maps issued by India on November 2 were "incorrect, legally untenable, void and in complete violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions".

"Pakistan rejects these political maps, which are incompatible with the United Nations’ maps," it added.

"We reiterate that no step by India can change the 'disputed' status of Jammu and Kashmir recognised by the United Nations.

"Such measures by the Indian government cannot prejudice the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir."

The statement added that Pakistan would continue supporting the legitimate struggle of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir for exercising their right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

Pakistan and other countries, including China and Turkey, as well as the United Nations have raised concerns regarding India’s decisions.

Most recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during her visit to New Delhi, said that the current situation in occupied Kashmir was “not sustainable” and needs to change. “The situation for the people there is currently not sustainable and must improve,” she was quoted as saying by Scroll.in. She added that though she was aware of India’s position, she wanted to hear from Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his plans to restore calm in the region.

Last month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had expressed "extreme concern" over human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir and asked the Indian authorities to "fully restore" human rights in the occupied territory.

As of today, the lockdown has been in place for more than 90 days.

"We have received a number of allegations of torture and ill-treatment of people held in detention. These must be independently and impartially investigated," the UN human rights body had said, adding that torture is totally and unequivocally prohibited under international laws.

"While restrictions on landline telephones were eventually lifted, and a state-run telecom company allowed to resume partial mobile services, all internet services remain blocked in the Kashmir Valley. Media outlets continue to face undue restrictions, with at least four local journalists allegedly arrested in the past three months."

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