India on Tuesday walked out of a meeting of the National Security Advisors of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries in protest after the Pakistani representative used a “fictitious” map showing Indian territories as part of Pakistan.
“This 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 side left the meeting in protest at that juncture,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
The meeting was chaired by Russia. “At the meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), hosted by the Chair of the SCO (Russia), the Pakistani NSA deliberately projected a fictitious map that Pakistan has recently been propagating,” said the MEA Spokesperson.
“As was to be expected, Pakistan then went on to present a misleading view of this meeting,” he said responding to a query on the issue.
Pakistan violated the SCO charter and put up a map showing Kashmir as its part. India strongly objected to it and Russia tried to dissuade Pakistan but it remained unfazed and continued with the map as the background. NSA Ajit Doval took a strong exception to it and left the SCO NSA virtual meet after due “consultation” from the host, Russia.
Government sources said that “Pakistan’s use of a fictitious map as a backdrop” which depicted “sovereign Indian territories as part of Pakistan” is a “blatant violation of the SCO Charter and against all its established norms of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of SCO Member States”.
SCO Charter, Article 2 states, “SCO member States shall adhere to the following principles…” which includes “mutual respect of sovereignty… territorial integrity of states and inviolability of state border”.
In fact, Secretary of the National Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev told Pakistan that it does not support what Islamabad has done and hoped Pakistan’s “provocative act will not affect India’s participation in SCO and definitely not cast any shadow on Patrushev’s warm personal relationship for NSA for whom he has the highest regard”, sources elaborated.
The map was the same one issued by Pakistan on the first anniversary of the removal of special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are part of the SCO grouping. Both Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Moscow in last two weeks to participate in SCO defence and FMs meet respectively.
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