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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Delhi programme hosted by Saudi body features wrong India map

The map featuring an incorrect depiction of Jammu & Kashmir was the backdrop for a panel discussion on future partnerships in energy with Saudi energy and mineral resources minister Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi commerce minister Majid Al Qasabi and NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2019 06:54 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
When the gaffe was pointed out, officials sought to lay the blame on private parties responsible for arrangements for the forum.
When the gaffe was pointed out, officials sought to lay the blame on private parties responsible for arrangements for the forum.(AFP/Picture for representation)
         

An event organised in New Delhi on Wednesday by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) prominently featured a map that didn’t conform with the Indian government’s depiction of the borders of Jammu and Kashmir.

Hindustan Times is not featuring the map, part of the backdrop of the event, parts of which were televised.

The Saudi-India Forum was organised as part of the first state visit to India by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by SAGIA in partnership with the Saudi Center for Strategic Partnerships (SCISP) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The map featuring an incorrect depiction of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir was the backdrop for a panel discussion on future partnerships in energy with Saudi energy and mineral resources minister Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi commerce minister Majid Al Qasabi and NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar.

When the gaffe was pointed out, officials sought to lay the blame on private parties responsible for arrangements for the forum. “The event was jointly organised by SAGIA and CII but the pre-event agenda, along with details, were sent by SAGIA,” a CII spokesperson said.

“NITI Aayog was only invited for the panel discussion on energy partnerships between the two countries and wasn’t part of organising the event in any way,” a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.

Indian law takes a dim view of incorrect depiction of the country’s boundaries.

The Saudi prince’s visit came about a week after the Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that killed 40 troops. The prince visited Pakistan three days after the attack and signed investment agreements worth $20 billion.

At the Saudi-India Forum, SAGIA announced the signing of four investment agreements worth more than $28 million and 11 memorandums of understanding (MOUs).

The agreements covered a range of partnerships in strategic growth sectors, including energy, water, technology, arts, entertainment, healthcare, trade and investment.

MOUs were signed between SAGIA and Indian firms such as TATA Consultancy, Wipro, Glenmark and ION Exchange. Licenses were granted to AWJ Energy, SecurEyes, Carnival Cinemas and Red Sea Arabia Company for Trading to establish operations in Saudi Arabia.

“This reflects the strength and diversification of the Saudi economy, as well as the opportunities being unlocked for private sector businesses by widespread economic and social reforms as part of Vision 2030,” SAGIA said in a statement.

First Published: Feb 21, 2019 00:04 IST

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