Neither the SCO Chair nor SCO Member States endorsed Pakistan’s uncalled for action to project a map which belies international credibility.

In keeping with its character, Pakistan is woefully wayward with its words, commitment and responsibility towards its people and international community. Its lies and fabrication touched a new low when it termed Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s walk out of the Russia-hosted Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s NSA meet in protest as a diplomatic victory.

However, the fact is that even a cursory reading of the development surrounding the virtual meeting of SCO’s NSA on Tuesday is enough to tell a common man how SCO members were left red faced by Pakistani NSA Moeed Yusuf’s behaviour. Neither the SCO Chair nor SCO Member States endorsed Pakistan’s uncalled for action to project a map which belies international credibility.

While India strongly objected to Pakistan’s deliberate projection of a “fictitious map”, Russia which is the Chair of the SCO for this year had to step in to tell the Pakistani side that it “does not support what Islamabad has done and hopes that Pakistan’s provocative act will not affect India’s participation in SCO and definitely not cast any shadow on (Russian NSA) Partrushev’s warm personal relationship for NSA (Doval) for whom he has the highest regard,” government sources said.

Despite this, Pakistan remained unfazed and continued with the fictitious map, compelling NSA Doval to leave the SCO NSA meet in protest, however, after due consultation with the host, Russia.

Article 2 of the SCO charter clearly states that SCO member States shall adhere to following principles…which includes mutual respect of sovereignty….territorial integrity of States and inviolability of State border.

In spite of this explicit provision of the SCO Charter, Pakistan went ahead to shred the group’s established norms of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the group’s Member States. Not only that it went on to present a “misleading view of this meeting,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The Pakistani NSA said the SCO agreed to Pakistan’s position on the new political map. He also said that “aspirations of the Kashmiri people were highlighted during the meeting of National Security Advisors of SCO member states.”

However, instead of taking it lying down, India protested it vehemently. It conveyed its strong objection to the SCO Chair and Member States on the use of a fictitious map by Pakistan during and also after the SCO NSA meeting. “Our objection was noted by the Chair,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in reply to a question.

On the eve of the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had unveiled a map, depicting the entire Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory while also incorporating Siachen as part of Pakistan.

The map does not show any borders in the east of Kashmir, where China has illegally occupied Aksai Chin. It also incorporates Sir Creek into Pakistani territory as well as parts of the erstwhile princely state of Junagadh.

India rejected the authenticity of the map and called it an “exercise in political absurdity”.

“This is an exercise in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian State of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and of Ladakh,” the MEA had then said in a statement.

It had added that “these ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility. In fact, this new effort only confirms the reality of Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism.”