New Delhi, June 6
After Pakistan and Nepal, there is disquiet in Bangladesh over the map of “Akhand Bharat” installed in the new Parliament.
Bangladesh's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said that the Bangladesh Embassy in Delhi has been instructed to contact the Ministry of External Affairs to get India's official explanation on this matter.
“Anger is being expressed from various quarters over the map. There is no reason to express doubts about it. However, for further clarification, we have asked the mission in Delhi to speak to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to find out what their official explanation is,” Shahriar Alam told the media in Dhaka.
“What we learnt is that India's MEA spokesperson said that this is a map of the Ashoka Empire, 300 years before the birth of Christ. It includes a map of the area at that time and a mural. The mural depicts the journey of people. There may be cultural similarities, but it has nothing to do with politics,” he added.
MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi has said the plaque below the mural says it depicts the spread of the Ashokan Empire and "the idea of responsible and people-oriented governance that he adopted and propagated."
After the inauguration of the new Parliament last month, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi had tweeted that the mural installed inside the building represented 'Akhand Bharat'. The map includes modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Last week, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch had expressed "grave" concerns over the map and said it was manifestation of an expansionist mindset.
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