Sunday 29 November 2020
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Saudi Arabia removes PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan’s map

Media reports say that Saudi Arabia's step is nothing short of an attempt to disgrace Pakistan, which also seems to be "adapting to its new bloc"

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Politics World Saudi Arabia removes PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan's map

Saudi Arabia has removed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan’s map, said PoK activist Amjad Ayub Mirza on 28 October.

“Saudi Arab removes Pakistani occupied Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan’s map!!!!,” he tweeted.

He tweeted a picture that was captioned, “Saudi Arabia’s Diwali gift to India– removes Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir from Pakistan’s map,” the picture’s text read.

According to media reports, Saudi Arabia released a 20 Riyal banknote to commemorate its presidency of organising the G-20 Summit on 21-22 November. It was further reported that the world map displayed on the banknote does not show Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Kashmir as parts of Pakistan.

Media reports say that Saudi Arabia’s step is nothing short of an attempt to disgrace Pakistan, which also seems to be “adapting to its new bloc”.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in September stated that they have seen reports regarding elections to the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan” Assembly to be held on 15 November and took a strong objection to it.

“The Government of India conveyed strong protest to Pakistan Government and reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the so-called Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India,” the MEA stated.

The Imran Khan government previously released a new political map of Pakistan, claiming Indian territories of Junagadh, Sir Creek and Manavadar in Gujarat, of Jammu and Kashmir and a part of Ladakh.

This came after the first anniversary of the Indian government’s decision to revoke Article 370 which gave special powers to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Imran punched above his weight; snubbed by Saudi Arabia, Iran

Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Sunni and Shia shoulders of Islam, refused to allow Pakistan missions to hold public events to observe the 27 October anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India as a Black Day, a departure from previous years that signals Pakistan’s shifting equations in West Asia.

People familiar with the matter said the Pakistan embassy in Iran had proposed an event in Tehran University to observe what it has called a Black Day. But Tehran surprised Islamabad when it communicated its refusal to allow the event. The embassy later settled for a webinar, clearly a sign of Imran Khan government’s growing desperation for its failure to garner support over India’s abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir.

Islamabad’s plans to hold a public event within the Pakistani consulate in Riyadh were also blocked by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

People familiar with the matter said the change in stance adopted by two influential Islamic countries is a reflection of Pakistan’s equations in the Middle East, in large measure a fallout of its growing partnership with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who is attempting to establish Turkey’s prominence in the Middle East. Quite like the Ottoman empire that ruled the region for 500 years before being pushed back.

Pakistan’s proximity to Turkey was on full display this month at the Financial Action Task Force plenary session when Ankara was the only one of the 39 members to push hard for keeping Islamabad out of the global terror financing watchdog’s ‘grey list’ despite its patchy track record.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkey’s Erdogan have been partnering to form a new radical Islamic axis as opposed to the established Sunni order led by Saudi Arabia and Shia order led by Iran.

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