NEW DELHI: India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval walked out in protest from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) virtual meeting where Islamabad projected its new map showing all of Kashmir as part of Pakistan.
The new contentious political map of Pakistan was seen behind Pakistan delegate Dr. Moeed Yusuf, special assistant on national security to Pakistani Premier. This infuriated Doval who objected to it at an international meet. Doval believed Pakistan was acting deliberately. The map shown by Pakistan was recently approved by the country’s parliament.
Hitting out at Pakistan, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that at the meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) of member states of the SCO hosted by Russia, the chair of the SCO, the Pakistani NSA deliberately projected a fictitious map that Pakistan has recently been propagating.
India issued its strong objection to the use of this map by Pakistan. Russia as the chair, sources added, tried very hard to persuade Pakistan not to do so.
Pakistan issued a new map on August 4 that laid claim to all of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on the eve of the first anniversary of the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
The political map was released by Prime Minister Imran Khan during a meeting in Islamabad. Khan had said the map was the first step towards a political struggle to achieve the right of self-determination for Kashmiris.
Srivastava said Pakistan’s action was in blatant disregard to the advisory by the host against it and in violation of the norms of the meeting. After consultation with the host, the Indian NSA left the meeting in protest at that juncture.
“As was to be expected, Pakistan then went on to present a misleading view of this meeting,” Srivastava said.
Before the external affairs ministry spokesperson’s statement, Yusuf tweeted: “Bizarrely, my Indian counterpart chose to walk out of Pakistan and Russia’s speech. Left a bad taste at a forum whose whole spirit is cooperation.”
Yusuf also tweeted that he had “highlighted that unilateral & illegal actions in an internationally recognised disputed territory of [Jammu and Kashmir] is a threat to regional peace & prosperity”.
Russia, sources said, conveyed to Doval that it does not support what Pakistan has done and hopes that Islamabad’s provocative act will not affect India’s participation in SCO.
Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the National Security Council of Russian Federation also conveyed to India that he was personally very grateful to Doval for attending the SCO Summit.
He hoped to see the NSA at forthcoming events and definitely not let the episode “cast any shadow on Patrushev’s warm personal relationship with the NSA for whom he has the highest regard.”
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