Pakistan has given vent to its frustration through a series of provocative steps coinciding with the first anniversary of the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir and the abrogation of Article 370. Earlier this week, Pakistan released a territorially misleading map that included the former princely states of Junagadh (Gujarat) and J&K, with Prime Minister Imran Khan calling it ‘the most historic day in Pakistan’s history’ and claiming that the map represented the aspirations of the whole nation and all its political parties. The move predictably drew a sharp reaction from New Delhi, which dubbed it an ‘exercise in political absurdity’. Pakistan had already laid bare its sinister moves by announcing that August 5 would be observed as ‘Day of Exploitation’, even as the Imran Khan government again failed to persuade the UN Security Council to come out with a resolution on Kashmir despite having China on its side.
The insistence on holding the Assembly elections in the disputed and long-suffering region of Gilgit-Baltistan, and that too amid the Covid-19 pandemic, is another instance of Pakistan’s duplicity. The country’s credibility has for long been under a cloud due to its continued support to terrorist organisations. In June, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, had decided to keep Pakistan on the grey list as Islamabad failed to check the flow of money to groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. With the prospect of being downgraded to the black list looming large, Pakistan recently passed two Bills in another half-hearted attempt to fulfil the FATF’s requirements. The implementation of such laws in the past, however, has left a lot to be desired.
Pakistan’s latest transgression comes less than two months after Nepal’s Parliament made a constitutional amendment to ‘update’ the country’s new political map which incorporated three strategically important Indian areas. These brazen actions by India’s neighbours smack of Chinese connivance in the backdrop of the LAC standoff. India needs to firmly refute such ridiculous claims and reassert its territorial sovereignty. Proactive diplomacy is a must to call the bluff of China and its pawns.