Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved a “new political map” of the country that marks the Indian-controlled part of the disputed Kashmir region as Pakistani territory?
Khan unveiled 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.
In 2019, the Indian government has scrapped the special autonomy status for the disputed region of Kashmir as part of attempts to fully integrate the Muslim-majority region with the rest of the country.
The government in New Delhi lifted a ban on property purchases by people from outside Jammu and Kashmir, opening the way for Indians to invest and settle in the disputed region like any other part of India, a measure likely to provoke a backlash in the territory.
The controversial move came after large parts of the Muslim-majority territory was placed under lock-down, with mobile networks, internet services and telephone landline services having been cut.
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.
India reacted by describing the map as “an exercise in political absurdity.” 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.
PressTV / ABC Flash Point News 2020.