‘Issue raised strongly with WHO’: MEA over map showing Jammu & Kashmir in different colour

The issue of the wrong depiction of a map of India on WHO’s website has been “raised strongly” with the World Health Organisation, MoS MEA V Muraleedharan said in a written reply to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

He said the WHO informed the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva that they have put up a disclaimer on the portal. The disclaimer reads, “The designations employed and the presentation of these materials do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WHO concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries and that dotted and dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.”

In the written reply, V Muraleedharan added, “Nevertheless, Government of India’s position on the right depiction of its boundaries has been unambiguously reiterated.”

The question was asked by Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. He had asked the MEA if any protest has been lodged with the WHO as on its website a map of India is depicting the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in a totally different colour.

Earlier, Trinamool Congress MP Dr Santanu Sen had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same issue and urged him to take up steps to correct the mistake.

Sharing the pictures of the wrong map of India on the WHO dashboard, Sen tweeted, “WHO COVID http://19.int site shows map of India with a separate colour for Jammu & Kashmir & inside that there is another small portion of a separate colour. If they are clicked, Covid datas of Pakistan & China are coming.” Dr Sen also questioned the central government for not noticing the “absolutely horrible” lapse.

“Why ministry of home affairs, external affairs and the ministry of health did not notice it and take any initiative to correct this step,” the MP wrote in his letter to the prime minister.

Sen also said that Arunachal Pradesh was “demarcated separately” from the map of India.

“I tried to locate the map once again and again I noticed Arunachal Pradesh was also demarcated separately,” Sen added in his letter.

The Rajya Sabha MP has urged the government to raise the issue with the WHO.

“People of India have the right to know why such a serious mistake has been overlooked on a website of such an organisation of international report like WHO,” he wrote.

“I request immediate steps should be taken to correct this mistake and tell the country how such a serious issue was overlooked for so long,” he added in the note.

(With PTI inputs)

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