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05 August 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.97

Pakistan's new Map of J&K



Pakistan releasing a new map of Kashmir, numerous editorial and opinion articles on Kashmir in the mainstream media, with a former interior minister even linking it to World War-III

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
Pakistan's new Map of J&K

It is now "Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)"

Pakistan issues new map of J&K, with changes in the status of Kashmir and boundaries
After the issuing of the commemorative postal stamp, rechristening of Kashmir Highway to “Srinagar Highway” and decision to observe today (5 August 2020), the first anniversary of abrogation of the Article 370 and 35A by the Indian government, as ‘Yaum-i-Istehsal’ (Day of Exploitation), Islamabad has now unveiled a new political map of Pakistan asserting the country’s longstanding position on Sir Creek and Kashmir disputes. (“Pakistan affirms claim to IHK with new map,” Dawn, 5 August 2020)

Major statements from Pakistan leaders on Kashmir
On 4 August, the new map was launched after approval by the federal cabinet by Prime Minister Imran Khan. “It is a historic occasion. The political map reflects our national aspiration and supports our principled stance on Kashmir dispute,” PM Khan said. He hailed the map as the “first step” towards Kashmir dispute’s political resolution, saying the map rejects India’s claims to the region. The Premiere’s national security, foreign policy and information ministry aides accompanied him. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “it is first time that the aspirations of Pakistani nation and our stated position on the dispute are being given with such clarity”. He re-emphasizing the extension of the Line of Control to the Chinese border and said: “This makes it clear that Siachen is ours”. The FM added that the map negated the Indian position on Sir Creek and accused India of trying to “occupy hundreds of kilometers of our (Pakistan’s) Exclusive Economic Zone”. SAPM on National Security Moeed Yusuf told Dawn that the new map asserted Pakistan’s territorial claims but in no way was suggesting the region was a part of Pakistan. It only said that the dispute must be “resolved in accordance with UN resolutions,” he explained. 

What is new in Pakistan's "new" map?
FM Qureshi spelt out the new political map’s features: the map shows the disputed area, the status of which Pakistan wanted to be decided in accordance with Kashmiri aspirations and UN resolutions. The map includes J&K (“IOJ&K included into Pakistan map,” The News International, 5 August 2020); clearly states the disputed territory’s “final status is to be decided in line with relevant UNSC resolutions”; represents the position on Sir Creek; underscores claims on Junagadh and Manavadar; shows the administrative boundary separating the two portions of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) – Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan; includes “Frontier Undefined”; extends the Line of Control to connect with the Chinese border, and shows Fata as part of KP. Mr Yusuf explains the status of the region under the “Frontier Undefined” description to be defined post the settling of the Kashmir dispute. According to Mr Yusuf, the uniform green colour given to “Gilgit-Baltistan” (part of PoK) and Kashmir shows that it's one territory; and the extension of the eastern side’s international boundary up to the undefined frontier aims to demarcate India’s Himachal Pardesh from the J&K’s “disputed part”. He also pointed out the change in nomenclature from “Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir” to “Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.” 

What Pakistan intends to achieve with the new map?
The new map is considered a response to India’s political map launched on 31 October 2019 after the splitting of J&K into Union Territories. The Indian map had laid claims on PoK. Consequently, Pakistan, China and Nepal rejected the map. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s current move is again, like the stamp, renaming and observance of ‘Yaum-i-Istehsal’, more symbolic than substantive.

Also related to J&K
“Youm-e-Istehsal”
The “Azad J&K” is all set to observe Youm-e-Istehsal. (“AJK all set to observe Youm-e-Istehsal,” Dawn, 5 August 2020) The main event is PM Khan’s speech at “AJK”. A Youm-e-Istehsal poster issued by the government of Pakistan said: “Kashmir waiting for justice – 365 days of Siege”. “The dark night of oppression must end. Kashmir will witness the dawn of Freedom,” it read. Excerpts by Pakistan’s President Dr Arif Alvi, PM Khan, FM Qureshi, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza featured in the poster.

Analyses on Kashmir continue to pour
Dawn opinion article by Zahid Hussain said: “the unending inhuman blockade and repression have had a serious effect on the population (of Kashmir)”. He said that slogans like ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ only harms the Kashmiri cause and called for better highlighting of the Kashmir issue in global forums; not for political point-scoring but for Kashmiris right to self-determination. (“Kashmir’s cry for freedom,” Dawn, 5 August 2020) An Opinion article in The News International by Mohammad Zubair called the Kashmir dispute Pakistan’s most significant foreign policy objective. He says with Article 370 undone, Pakistan has “an additional challenge” in forcing “India to agree on a plebiscite in accordance with UN Resolutions” to resolve the Kashmir issue. (“Kashmir: one year on,” Dawn, 5 August 2020) PPP Senator Sherry Rehman’s opinion piece in The News International criticizes Modi government’s “Hindutva chauvinism” and “Sangh Parivar’s dream of wiping clean India’s multi-religious history” for the plight of the Kashmiris. She further talks about the need for internationalization of the issue. (“The forgotten people,” The News International, 5 August 2020) Another opinion article by Tariq Kamal Qazi calls India’s alteration of Kashmir status, a violation of the Indian Constitution. (“India violates own law by altering Kashmir status,” The News International, 5 August 2020)

Meanwhile, New York iconic Times Square’s billboards lit up in an expression of solidarity with Kashmiris. Signs reading “Kashmiris Lives Matter” and “Kashmir Siege Day” showed hands raised in protest symbolizing the Kashmiri struggle. Pakistan Ambassador to US Asad Khan said these signs reminded the global community about “one full year of forced disappearances, torture, and a siege that has been intensified on the pretext of Covid-19”. (“Billboards at New York square highlight Indian atrocities,” Dawn, 5 August 2020)


In Brief
INTERNAL
PPP urges government to start the Islamabad temple construction
On 4 August, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in a statement urged the federal government to take steps to remove all hurdles in the way of the construction of the temple in Islamabad and inaugurate its work “to give a befitting reply” to PM Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to lay the foundation for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The demand was made by PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar as official spokesman for party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in a statement issued by the party’s Media Office. The senator added that this move by Modi would “blacken the face of secular India”. Further, he stated that Pakistan should send a message to the world community that the people who belong to all religions enjoyed equal rights in the country as well. (“PPP asks govt to start Islamabad temple construction,” Dawn, 5 August 2020)

The proposed bifurcation of the CAA is a step in the right direction: Editorial
An editorial in the Dawn lauding the government’s plan to bifurcate the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority into two separate regulatory and operational oversight entities; the Pakistan Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority and the Pakistan Airports Authority states that this proposed bifurcation of the CAA is a step in the right direction. Further, the editorial notes that for long lobbies within the aviation sector have been powerful enough to resist reforms that would have imposed discipline and enhanced accountability, however, if the bifurcation goes ahead, this can be checked. Further, the editorial cautions that the government must not rush into legislative changes to bring about this new structure without doing its due diligence. Adding that the entity must be staffed with quality professionals and experts. Further adding that Pakistan should review practices from civil aviation authorities in developed countries. (“CAA bifurcation,” Dawn, 5 August 2020)

 


"It is a historic occasion. The political map reflects our national aspiration and supports our principled stance on Kashmir dispute...It is first time that the aspirations of Pakistani nation and our stated position on the dispute are being given with such clarity"

-  Imran Khan (Dawn)

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