M A I N   N E W S

PC warns Mehbooba of action on map row
Omar blasts PDP chief;
BJP to move Election Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Jammu/New Delhi, February 13
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today warned the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of action if it did not correct depiction of some parts of Jammu and Kashmir in China in one of its maps.

Reacting to queries of reporters here, Chidambram said: “I haven’t seen the reports yet. But it’s a big mistake and if they (PDP) do not correct it, some action will be taken.” The PDP had shown parts of J&K’s Aksai Chin in China during a power-point presentation in Srinagar yesterday.

Cornered, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufit said the map was shown for the convenience of Kashmiris and the party has not done anything to challenge the sovereignty of the country. But that did not cut much ice with Chief Minister and her political rival Omar Abdullah, who came down heavily on the PDP and said the “gifting away” of state’s territory will not be acceptable.

Dubbing the PDP’s action as “dangerous”, Omar said: “Giving away a part of the state, where we love our religion greatly, to a communist country is absurd. It would not be acceptable at any cost.” The Chief Minister, who was interacting with mediapersons at a function in Jammu, added that the PDP should clarify its stand on the geographical status of the state. Earlier, other leaders of the ruling National Conference, including Minister of Finance Abdul Rahim Rather and Minister of Law and Rural Development Ali Mohammad Sagar, also lambasted Mehobooba for the controversial presentation.

The PDP’s slideshow displayed the state’s map superimposed on foreign currency notes, showing it divided into three parts, one with India, another with Pakistan and a third with China. It also showed Aksai Chin painted in red and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in green.

The depiction of the map is seen as an acceptance of the occupation of these areas by the respective countries. The BJP was also quick to react and termed the PDP’s action as anti-national. The party has decided to approach the Election Commissioner of India to get the PDP de-recognised for “preaching” secessionism. “It is a glaring example of preaching secessionism. The Union Government must take some effective step”, said BJP spokesman Ramesh Arora.

Interestingly, the Congress, which is a coalition partner of the NC, has preferred to maintain a guarded silence on the controversial issue. Later, the PDP said the map in question does not mean anything politically.

“We want erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, as it existed before the partition of subcontinent, should be made a free economic zone,” said party spokesman Nayeem Akhtar.





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