AYODHYA/ JUNAGADH .. PM Imran Khan releases new map of Pakistan, includes Junagadh, Ladakh, J&K


NEW DELHI: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday released a new political map of Pakistan, provocatively including Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Gujarat’s Junagadh district in it. The action quickly came in for condemnation from the Indian external affairs ministry, which said this was simply a show of political “absurdity”.

Imran Khan made the announcement at a media conference quickly after he got the cabinet nod for the new map, and said this was a historic day for Pakistan. Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said Imran Khan’s assertion was “ridiculous”.

The day also saw another announcement that Pakistan was changing the name of the Kashmir Highway in Islamabad to Srinagar highway, reinforcing Pakistan’s claim over the Indian part of Kashmir that has Srinagar as its capital.

The decisions came on a day before the anniversary of the Modi government’s nullification of the Constitutional provision that granted Special Status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and turned it into three Union Territories, on August 5, 2019.

The Pakistani posturing is also seen in the context of another push by the Modi government, in Ayodhya, where August 5 this year will see the Shilanyas and Bhoomipoojan of a new Ram Temple in what was a disputed land in Ayodhya. The Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992 by the VHP-led mob, which had led to riots in many parts of north India, killing over 2,000 people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat would be prominently present at the Shilanyas ceremony on Wednesday.

The Babri dispute ended late last year, when the Supreme Court’s mediation and final decision to grant the disputed land to a Hindu organization and an allotment of five acres of land for the construction of a new mosque a distance away from the spot where the old masjid stood. IHN-NN


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