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Foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava.
Foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava.

Foreign ministry protests Saudi's incorrect depiction of Indian map

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said that India had lodged a protest through the Saudi Arabian embassy in New Delhi and the Indian embassy in Riyadh

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said it had lodged a protest with Saudi authorities over the incorrect depiction of its external boundaries a day after news reports said Riyadh had removed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as parts of Pakistan depicted on a newly minted Saudi currency note.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said that India had lodged a protest through the Saudi Arabian embassy in New Delhi and the Indian embassy in Riyadh.

The bank note issued on 24 October “to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20. We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India's external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudi side for taking urgent corrective steps in this regard," Srivastava said.

“I would like to further reiterate that entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of India," he added.

On Wednesday, news agency ANI had quoted Pakistan- occupied Kashmir(PoK) activist Amjad Ayub Mirza as saying that Riyadh had removed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan’s map.

“Saudi Arab removes Pakistani occupied Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan’s map!!!!" Mirza was quoted as saying by ANI news agency on Wednesday. Mirza also posted a picture captioned, “Saudi Arabia’s Diwali gift to India-- removes Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir from Pakistan’s map."

Other media reports said the move by Riyadh was nothing short of an attempt to disgrace Pakistan, which also seems to be “adapting to its new bloc" ie a possible allusion to Islamabad’s growing closeness to Turkey and Malaysia.

Last month, the Indian foreign ministry had slammed Pakistan for organizing elections in its so called state of “Gilgit-Baltistan." The polls to the state assembly are to be held on 15 November.

“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 Indian statement said.

Earlier this year, the Imran Khan government in Pakistan had released a new political map of Pakistan, claiming the Indian territories of Junagadh, Sir Creek, and Manavadar in Gujarat, 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.

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