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Pakistan’s New Political Map: Revisiting the Kashmir Issue

Aroosa Salahuddin
Research Intern, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad

The new political Map of Pakistan was introduced to the world on August 4, 2020, and it was a landmark move by Pakistan on the First Anniversary of India’s controversial unilateral decision of the Abrogation of Article 370 in August 5, 2019. The new political map includes the territory of Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, and Sir Creek in Kutch, Junagadh, and Manavadar. Moreover, Pakistan for the first time declared Jammu & Kashmir as a part of its territorial jurisdiction after 1947. The Political Leadership of Pakistan is on one page regarding the historical territorial issues with India. Prime Minister Imran Khan along with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi declared it as “The Official Map” of Pakistan. The map solely identifies the occupied Kashmir as a “disputed territory” and rejects the illegal steps taken by India which consequently exercises violence in the Indian occupied Kashmir. This proactive step taken by the Pakistan Government has once again highlighted the Kashmir issue that was overshadowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan also maintains its stance that issues could only be resolved under the UNSC resolutions which give the Kashmiri people the right of self-determination. The government move was endorsed by the political leadership and aspirant people of the disputed valley. The Government is continuously doing a lot of effort to emphasize the Kashmir dispute at every forum and taking bold steps such as unveiling the new political map to the world.

“The Issuance of Political
Map is challenging
India’s Illegal occupation of Kashmir.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan affirmed that “We will do political struggle, we don’t believe in military solutions. We will remind the UN again and again that you had made a promise (to the people of Kashmir) which you did not fulfill.” Pakistan acknowledges the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people which were given to them by the International Law, the core solution to Kashmir dispute. Furthermore, the Foreign Minister also explicated the other parts of the administrative map which added Siachen and Sir Creek and made it clear that it is a part of Pakistan and rejects the inadequate claims by India over Exclusive Economic Zone and directly enhance the connectivity with China via Siachen.

“Degree of Autonomous
is no more in Post Annexation”

After revoking the special autonomy of occupied Kashmir, India imposed security lockdown to expand its political influence in the region and passed a controversial presidential order by repealing the Article 370 of the constitution. The attempt was made to weaken the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu colonists. Later on, the fascist legacy of the BJP also encouraged a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories that Jammu Kashmir as one and Himalayan Ladakh region as the other. The prolonged disputed territory conflict between major regional actors (China, India, and Pakistan) created global anxiety and uncertainty of more armed conflicts in the region. Pakistan’s diplomatic response to the disputed territory is one of the enormous developments which is recognized by the whole international community. The political map of Pakistan has given a clear indication to the Indian government and to the world that we are very serious in resolving the issue, as per the desires of Kashmiri people.
The continued and unprecedented lockdown in the occupied kashmiir by the Indian government indicates that they have no concerns with International pressure. The life in occupied Kashmir is still worst for the people and India has accelerated operations against Kashmiri freedom fighters and deployed more forces that more create a panic.

“Lukewarm Response of
International Community towards Kashmir but Pakistan did concentrated efforts to Highlight the Issue”

The world is still quiet on the issue of Kashmir and the UNSC is quite as they view that it is a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan which is not correct cause according to the principles of UNSC resolution and International law regard disputed territory. Pakistan raised the matter in the UN where China supported Pakistan’s stance and initiated the discussion in UNSC last year but all three round tables held in the same rehotic by the permanent members that “any other business” meeting that had no outcomes. Therefore, it became necessary for Pakistan to announce its new political map to show the world that Pakistan is very serious about resolving the issue. India rejected this move by Pakistan and called it a Political absurdity and said these stances have no legal validity, whereas India needs to realize that they have no right to end the special status of autonomous Kashmir and occupied disputed territory with the majority of Muslims.
The issue of new map is the first major step by Pakistan towards solving the issue. The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the new map reflects that Political will of Pakistan, which is as per the desires of the Pakistani people, and the principled stance of the people of Kashmir, and rejects the illegal step India took on August 5 last year. Furthermore, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met UNGA President-elect Volkan Bozkir during the later’s visit to Pakistan on August 10, 2020 and emphasized the UN to resolve the issue of Kashmir, stressed on the current situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir as a the terrible humanitarian crisis. The issuance of the new political map also includes more historical issues such as maritime dispute of Sir Creek, Junagadh was the first state to accede to Pakistan and Line of Control (LOC) democratization along J&K was marked with the red dotted line in the map which shows that Pakistan highlighted the accession of State of Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be decided through a referendum by sovereign authorities of J&K and under the UNSC resolutions that the actual boundaries and undefined frontiers should be resolve under the settlement of the dispute.

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