Pakistan’s cartographic absurdity | HT Editorial
The new map shows shallowness and weakness. It has no legitimacyUpdated: Aug 05, 2020 19:12 IST
The Imran Khan government has issued a map that shows the entirety of Jammu and Kashmir and the former Gujarati princely state of Junagadh as Pakistani territory. Such maps were common in the 1950s. Over time, Junagadh was largely dropped, but Survey of Pakistan maps have shown the border running south of Jammu.
The map has kept the self-determination flag flying by printing across Kashmir that its future will be “decided” under the relevant United Nations resolutions. Curiously, the border between this fictional Greater Pakistan and China is a “frontier undefined” — something not reflected in Beijing’s maps.
Ancient maps have some use in territorial disputes, overnight ones produced by a weak government have none. Mr Khan issued the map one year after the amendment of Article 370. One of the policy shifts explicit in India’s decision was that the future of this part of Kashmir would no longer be negotiated with Islamabad. Pakistan has spent the past year trying to argue it is essential to the issue. Initially, it turned to the international community to get some support. When that failed, it resumed shelling across the Line of Control and supporting terrorism. That Mr Khan’s government has now been reduced to printing pieces of coloured paper should be seen as further evidence that Pakistan has been reduced to a cipher as far as Kashmir is concerned. Nepal, Pakistan and others have recently turned to cartography to provoke the Indian government. But drawn ink lines are not even credible statements. They show shallowness of thought and, most crucially, weakness at home.