In an unprecedented step, Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled the new political map of Pakistan which also shows Indian-occupied Kashmir as part of the country. The symbolism of the move cannot be dismissed as it will reinforce our commitment to the long-standing dispute.
This will now be the new official map of Pakistan as it has been approved by the federal cabinet and will be used in schools and colleges. The map shows Kashmir as a disputed territory and states that its final status will be decided in line with UN Security Council resolutions. The world is given a reminder that it has not honoured its promise to allow Kashmiris the right to self-determination.
The timing also cannot be denied as it comes just a day ahead of the first anniversary clampdown since India took the unilateral decision to strip Kashmir’s semi-autonomy. A complete curfew has been imposed in the occupied territory over fears of massive protests. The map totally negates all illegal actions of 5th August which have come to haunt the Modi government.
The prime minister said this is the first time an administrative map has reflected the aspirations of the people including Kashmiris. He said there is no military solution and political struggle is the only option. The global community needs to be constantly reminded to take cognizance of the human rights situation in the restive region and resolve the dispute.
The map has also claimed disputed territories such as Siachen Glacier and Sir Creek as part of Pakistan while Line of Control (LoC) is shown as a red dotted line. The northeastern border has been shown open incorporating the territory of Jammu, Kashmir, and even Ladakh – which were sliced up by India – as part of Pakistan. India has been given a message that its nefarious designs in the region are bound to end in failure.
While there may be criticism whether a map will liberate Kashmir and resolve the dispute, the entire nation remains united on the new political map. It gives a clear message that the government and people of Pakistan stand with their Kashmiri brethren. This should be the ultimate goal we should not lose sight of and reach a logical conclusion.