A 15-PAGE booklet distributed by the Congress on Saturday during party UP in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad’s visit to Lucknow included a map that mentioned a part of Kashmir as “Indian-Occupied Kashmir”, leading the BJP to allege that “Congress and Pakistan both speak the same language”.
The map was included in the booklet in reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Named ‘National Security Endangered.. Bravado, Rhetoric, Hyperbole Rules…!’, the booklet mentioned that the corridor is worth $54 billion and has been “built through POK/Balochistan connecting Gwadar Port in Arabian sea to China with base for Chinese submarines”.
“Does it not compromise India’s sovereignty over POK? And affects our strategic interests in Arabian sea with Chinese Naval presence,” it added. The booklet has been printed and released by the All India Congress Committee.
BJP state spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi said the act was shameful and Congress must apologise to the entire nation. “Congress must clarify whether it was with India or Pakistan on Kashmir issue… It is highly objectionable that when Indian soldiers were fighting with Pakistan sponsored militant in Kashmir, Congress was not ready to accept Kashmir as part of India…,” he added.
When contacted, Congress spokesperson Satyadev Tripathi said: “Congress has always believed that Kashmir is an integral part of India. There may be some printing mistake in the map but the text clearly talks of POK. We are highlighting failures of BJP government in the past three years and they are again trying to divert attention by raising insignificant issues.”