ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved a new map that showed areas in the Himalayan Kashmir valley to be a part of Pakistan, a move likely to anger neighbor India which also lays claim to the territory.
An image of the new map was shared with Pakistani media by Khan’s office. India has not commented on the development so far. The map signals a hardening of Pakistan’s position over the border row.
The Muslim-majority Himalayan region has been at the heart of more than 70 years of animosity since the partition of British-ruled India into Muslim Pakistan and majority Hindu India in 1947.
Tensions reached a new high in August last year, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government took away Indian-administered Kashmir’s special privileges, provoking anger in the region and in Pakistan.
It also took away the region’s status as a state by creating two federally controlled territories, splitting off the thinly populated, Buddhist-dominated region of Ladakh. Jammu Kashmir had been the only Muslim-majority state in India.
India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the region.
India has battled insurgency in the portion of Kashmir it controls for decades and blames Pakistan for fueling the strife, but Pakistan denies it is responsible, saying it only gives moral support to non-violent separatists.
The UN Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of mostly-Muslim Kashmir.
Another resolution also calls upon both sides to “refrain from making any statements and from doing or causing to be done or permitting any acts which might aggravate the situation.”