In August this year, debt-distressed Pakistan released a new political map which depicted all of Kashmir as being part of its territory, as well as the regions of Sir Creek and Junagadh. For its absurdity, Prime Minister Imran Khan-led country was highly criticised by India in a strong-worded response.
Now, there are some people still in Pakistan who think that the former princely state of Junagadh is part of their country. The family of former Nawab of Junagadh who fled to Pakistan in 1947 after it was created has expressed gratitude to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to media reports, last week, the so-called ‘Nawab of Junagadh’, Jehangir Khan, made his son Ahmed Ali, the next ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Dewan) of Junagadh.
‘Junagadh is part of Pakistan’: Jehangir Khan
“I will always tell Modi that ‘Prime Minister Modi, Junagadh was part of Pakistan yesterday, it is part of Pakistan today and will be part of Pakistan tomorrow as well’,” Jehangir Khan said at an event ‘official recognition ceremony of Dewan of Junagadh state’ in Karachi. He also claimed that India has “illegally” occupied Junagadh. Meanwhile, the newly appointed Dewan Ahmed Ali also asserted that he will ensure Junagadh’s “independence” from India.
He also added that he will lead a campaign to let the world know that Junagadh is part of Pakistan. Ahmed Ali also said that China and Russia have endorsed Pakistan’s new political map. Last month, the ‘Nawab’ said a secretariat of Junagadh should be established in Islamabad to bring the princely state closer to Pakistan. He said November 9 was observed as a ‘black day’ as on this day in 1947, India occupied the territory of Junagadh. The occupation was against the international law and norms, he added.
He recalled that in October 1947, during his visit to Pakistan his grandfather Nawab Mahabat Khan signed an agreement of accession to Pakistan. During the visit, his grandfather held a meeting with Mohammad Ali Jinnah and decided to accede the state to Pakistan. The treaty of accession was ratified by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. In the absence of his grandfather, India landed its troops and occupied the territory of Junagarh on November 9, 1947, he said, according to Dawn.
This is not the first time Pakistan has tried to portray Junagadh as being part of its territory. The 2012 Atlas of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan also portrayed Junagadh as a separate territory.
India termed Pakistan’s move as an exercise in political absurdity.
“We have seen a so-called ‘political map’ of Pakistan that has been released by Prime Minister Imran Khan. This is an exercise in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian State of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and of Ladakh. These ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
(With agency inputs)