Topic: General Studies 2 and 3
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
- Security challenges and their management in border areas.
On Pakistan’s new map
Context: On August 4th 2020, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled a new political map of his country inviting a sharp reaction from India.
What are the changes in Pakistan’s new map?
- In New map, Pakistan lays claim to all of Jammu and Kashmir, thus far shown as disputed territory.
- The new map draws a line demarcating Gilgit-Baltistan separately from the part of Kashmir under its control (Pakistan occupied Kashmir)
- It renames Jammu and Kashmir as “Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.
- The new map leaves the claim line with Ladakh unclear.
- It also lays claim to Siachen and Sir Creek
- A new and somewhat surprising claim was made over Junagadh (a part of coastal Gujarat)
What has been India’s response on Pakistan’s new map?
- India has dismissed the map as an “exercise in absurdity” that made “untenable claims” to territories in India.
- India stated that these ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility.
- India also added that the release of the new map confirms Pakistan’s “obsession with territorial aggrandizement” supported by cross-border terrorism.
Implication of Pakistan’s New Map on India
- Aimed at provocation: Pakistan’s decision to issue the map is considered a tit-for-tat manoeuvre in return for India’s decision to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir in 2019
- Erodes the Progress made over past decades: New claims will reset several agreements with India that have been concretised over the past 70 years
- Issue of Ladakh: Pakistan’s claim to all of J&K but not Ladakh, goes against its own commitment to adjudicate the future of all six parts of the erstwhile royal state of J&K (Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan, PoK and Aksai Chin) with India
- Regressive Step: While both sides had reached an impasse on Siachen, the Sir Creek agreement had made considerable progress, and was reportedly even resolved, pending a political announcement in 2007.
- Not Conducive for Future resolutions: Sir Creek & Siachen were without doubt disputed areas, and Pakistan’s unilateral claim over them is not helpful or conducive to future resolution
- Opens up a whole new dispute: While Junagadh was in contention at the time of Partition, the issue was successfully resolved after a referendum was conducted there. Laying new claim of this settled matter opens up new frontiers of dispute.
- Internationalisation of dispute: Pakistan’s new map is intended to provoke India, and internationalise the border disputes
- Three-pronged Cartographic Challenge: Pakistan’s actions come in conjunction with map-related issues India faces today on two other fronts: with China at the Line of Actual Control on Ladakh, and with Nepal at Kalapani and Limpiyadhura
It is no coincidence that all three countries objected to the map New Delhi had issued in November 2019, post the abrogation of Article 370. India must be prepared to face them.
Connecting the dots:
- India-China border clashes
- Annexation of Hyderabad (Operation Polo)