‘Disclaimer put on WHO website’: Govt on incorrect map of India

‘Disclaimer put on WHO website’: Govt on incorrect map of India

On Thursday, the government stated that the issue of wrong depiction of India’s map on World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website has been raised strongly, including at the highest level. The World Health Organization (WHO) had shared a controversial map on its site. The map showed Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh separate from India.

File Photo of minister of State of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) V Muraleedharan.

According to the latest development in the matter, this issue has been raised on higher levels. WHO has now put a disclaimer on its portal. The minister of State of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) V Muraleedharan, said, “The issue of wrong depiction of map of India on World Health Organisation’s website has been raised strongly with WHO including at the highest level. In response WHO has informed Permanent Mission of India in Geneva that they’ve put a disclaimer on portal.”

Muraleedharan further added, “The disclaimer says designations employed and presentation of these materials don’t imply expression of any opinion on part of WHO concerning legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities or concerning legal status of any country, territory or area of its authorities or concerning delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted/dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not be full agreement.”

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He concluded by saying that government of India’s position on right depiction of boundaries is unambiguously reiterated.

Through its mission in Geneva, the Indian government has sent 3 letters to the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. India has conveyed its “deep displeasure” over the issue.  The last letter was sent on January 8th. In the letter India asked WHO to replace the incorrect maps.

The maps show union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in a different shade than the rest of India. The Shaksgam Valley was illegal ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963. This valley is spread across 5,168 sq km and is shown as a part of China in the map. Moreover, the Aksai Chin region occupied by China in 1954 is shown in light blue strips, a shade similar to the colour used to depict Chinese territory. These maps were also posted on the corona virus dashboard.  

Under the Indian law, publishing inaccurate maps of India is a criminal offence. This offence is punishable with a six-month jail term and fine.

This mistake by WHO can be intentional as China may be behind this move. The relationship between China and WHO was revealed in the times when COVID-19 was at its peak.

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