World War 3 fears rocket after India storms out of Pakistan meeting over Kashmir dispute
FEARS of open conflict between India and Pakistan surged after a New Delhi delegation stormed out of a meeting over the two countries’ border disputes.
By James Bickerton 03:40, Wed, Sep 16, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:31, Wed, Sep 16, 2020
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The virtual meeting featured security aides from Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states. India’s delegation, led by national security advisor Ajit Doval, quit the event after Pakistani representatives displayed a map depicting disputed territory as belonging to Islamabad.
The Pakistani map showed all of Kashmir, the sovereignty of which is hotly contested, as being under their authority.
According to the Times of India the New Delhi team dropped out of the event after seeing the Pakistani flag.
Muslim majority Kashmir is currently divided between Indian and Pakistani zones.
Since 1989 an armed insurgency has been taking place in Kashmir against Indian control.
The Indian delegation stormed out of a virtual SCO meeting (Image: GETTY)
The scene after India’s representative left the meeting (Image: YouTube/Indiplus News)
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Up to 100,000 are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.
The SCO meeting, which incorporates a number of regional powers, was being chaired by Russia.
The Russian delegation tried to persuade their Pakistani counterparts to remove the map but without success.
In August Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, released a new map showing the entirety of Kashmir under the control of Pakistan.
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The Pakistani SCO delegation with the controversial map behind them (Image: YouTube/Indiplus News)
The territory had been broken up and was being administered as two separate Pakistani territories.
It was this map which caused controversy after it was displayed during the SCO meeting.
The Pakistani move was sharply condemned by Anurag Srivastava, spokesman for India’s ministry of external affairs.
He said: “This was in blatant disregard to the advisory by the host against it and in violation of the norms of the meeting.”
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An Indian warplane was shot down by Pakistani forces in 2019 (Image: GETTY)
Anti-India protesters rally in Kashmir (Image: GETTY)
Pakistani officials, quotes in local media, claimed the row began after their envoys rejected India’s “spurious claims” over the territory.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars, in 1947, 1965 and 1999, over the control of Kashmir.
The two nuclear armed rivals also battled against each other in 1971 during Bangladesh’s ‘liberation war’ from Islamabad.
According to an Indian source after the event Nikolai Patrushev, who runs Russia’s national security council, spoke out against the Pakistani action.
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It is reported to have said: “Russia does not support what Pakistan has done and hopes that Pakistan’s provocative act will not affect India’s participation in SCO.”
From March to April 2019 several people were killed in a series of skirmishes along the India-Pakistan border.
The violence began when Indian forces bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed, an extreme Islamist group it blamed for suicide attacks, over the Pakistani border.
Pakistani and Indian aircraft then staged a series of incursions into each other’s air space.
India has been fighting a decades long insurgency in Kashmir (Image: GETTY)
On February 27 an Indian MiG-21 warplane was shot down over Pakistan.
The pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured and later released.
Next month both India and Pakistan agreed a deal to reduce tensions between the two countries.