Alwaght- Prime Minister Imran Khan has unveiled on Tuesday a “new political map” of Pakistan that marks the Indian-controlled part of the disputed Kashmir region as Pakistani territory.
Khan approved the map ahead of the first anniversary of New Delhi’s revocation of the autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir.
The map marks the Indian-administered part of the region as “Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” unlike its former status as “disputed territory.”
“Today is a historic day for Pakistan as the Cabinet, opposition, and Kashmiri leadership endorsed the new map,” Khan said, unveiling the map. “Kashmir will become part of Pakistan and this map is the first step toward it.”
The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the territory.
The Indian-administered part of the region, known as Jammu and Kashmir, enjoyed autonomy until August 2019, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government revoked that status.
The Pakistani prime minister said separately that he would deliver a public speech in Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Azad Kashmir, on Wednesday.
India reacted by describing the map as “an exercise in political absurdity.”
“We have seen a so-called political map of Pakistan that has been released by Prime Minister Imran Khan. This is an exercise in political absurdity… 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 aggrandizement supported by cross-border terrorism,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in an official statement on Tuesday.
India regularly accuses Pakistan of aiding militants to cross the border in Kashmir to conduct attacks. Islamabad denies that accusation.
Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir had ordered a two-day curfew in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, anticipating protests on the anniversary of the revocation of the region’s autonomy.