The World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nation’s Health Agency on Tuesday distorted the political map of India by separating the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir from the country. In its official global display of COVID-19 related data on the website, the WHO marks Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir with different colours and shows Pakistan’s total COVID count when browsed on Kashmir region.
The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti shared the disputed image and said that the global health watchdog has separated Ladakh and J&K from India by colouring them in different colours. “When clicked over Jammu and Kashmir, COVID data for Pakistan is shown”, it tweeted demanding an apology from WHO and appropriate action by the Ministry of Home Affairs, India.
#WHO_Distorts_IndiaMap— HinduJagrutiOrg (@HinduJagrutiOrg) February 1, 2022
On its website, global health watchdog separated Ladakh & J&K from India by colouring them in different colours…When clicked over J&K, #Covid data for #Pakistan is shown!@WHO must apologise & correct the map! We urge @HMOIndia to take appropriate action. pic.twitter.com/lmGelLpcGT
The WHO’s official website reveals the global situation of COVID-19 disease by showing the data of the actual number of affected patients in the last 24 hours. In its online map, the global health observatory has marked Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as ‘not applicable’ data states and displays the total number of COVID patients of Pakistan when browsed.
The map further draws a thin line within Jammu and Kashmir to portray the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as a legitimate part of Pakistan and Ladakh to China. “14,17,991 confirmed cases and 29,248 deaths in Pakistan”, it reads when examined curiously through the Kashmir region. However, no data is displayed as the cursor passes on to the Ladakh region. The map has also notably shown the northern part of Arunachal Pradesh as China.
‘Kargil from Surprise to Victory’, book by 18th Chief of the Army Staff Ved Prakash Malik notes that at present, 55 % of the region that escalated into three wars between India and Pakistan is controlled by India, that includes Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, most of Ladakh, the Siachen Glacier and 70% of its population. Meanwhile, Pakistan controls approximately 35% of the land area that includes Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan; and China controls the remaining 15% of the land area that includes the Aksai Chin region.
This is not the first time when the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh region has been cut off from the map of India. Earlier in the year 2021, the BBC, the public broadcaster of the UK had separated the region from India while reporting on the Delta variant of COVID-19.
In the video, Ros Atkins, Presenter & creator for BBC News UK, talked about how the Delta variant of COVID-19 code-named B.1.617.2 was discovered in India in October 2020 and how the UK allegedly fail to consider travellers from India a threat to the spread of the new variant. The map that was depicted at the 24th second of the video did not have Jammu & Kashmir and the Ladakh region included. However, the changes to the video were made after a severe uproar and the map was replaced by the Indian national flag.
Let us give @BBCNews some piece of mind for showing our map wrong. Ros Atkins in one of the news report. @DrSJaishankar @MEAIndia to follow up with @BorisJohnson for tantalizing map of India. pic.twitter.com/czzo3zHLG2— UN (@UshaNirmala) June 19, 2021
Also, in June 2021, the Twitter website had displayed a distorted map of India, showing Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as separate countries. A map on Twitter’s careers page showed the Kashmir region, including the Himalayan enclave of Ladakh, outside India. The map was revoked all the same after several police complaints were lodged against Twitter’s country head.
According to the World Health Organisation data, India has reported 41,302,440 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4,95,050 deaths as of 31 January 2021. Globally, a total of 9,901,135,033 vaccine doses have been administered.