Now Reading: Saudi Arabia Removes Kashmir and GB from Pakistan’s Map in Riyal Note
In the recent development, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has removed Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir as parts of Pakistan from its map on a newly released riyal note. Soon after its release, this new note has become quite controversial and the topic of discussion in the region due to how the two countries i.e. India and Pakistan’s borders were depicted.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has recently launched a new banknote of twenty-riyal. This was in commemoration of the country’s getting presidency of the G20 ahead of the international forum’s virtual summit that is going to be taking place during November 21-22. The banknote continues to make rounds in the news for its top-of-the-line security features and a unique design , majorly inspired by the G20 logo.
The front side of the 20 riyal note carries the picture of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. Meanwhile on the backside of it is featured a world map, displaying the G20 member countries in on the front, the backside features a world map, displaying the G20 countries in a different color color.
However, this iteration of the map does not have Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir as parts of Pakistan. Instead, they are depicted as independent territories i.e. a border has been shown between Pakistan and GB/AJK.
So far, no official statement has been issued by Pakistani authorities on the matter. Though, the public has shown an outrage on social media platforms.
Split Reactions from India
This depiction of the map has had a split reaction from India as well. On one hand, Indian media’s reports say that Saudi Arabia’s step is nothing short of an attempt to ‘disgrace’ Pakistan, labelling it a ‘Diwali gift’ from Saudi Arabia for the Indian people. They are making the claims that Saudi Arabia prioritizes India over Pakistan as the two countries are expanding their bilateral and economic relations, at the expense of Pakistan and Kashmir.
On the other side of things though, it seems like the Saudi bank note has also irked India as the banknote shows Jammu and Kashmir independent of India. Declaring it a ‘gross misrepresentation of sovereign territory’, spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs – Anurag Srivastava – revealed during a weekly briefing that India has taken up the issue at the diplomatic level with Riyadh.
Talking on the matter, the minister stated;
“We have seen the banknote which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudi side to take urgent corrective steps in this regard.”
The minister finally reiterated his past statement, calling Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh “integral parts of India”.