The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put up a disclaimer on its website after New Delhi's formal protests over India's map being wrongly depicted on the web page of the global health outfit.
“The issue of wrong depiction of the map of India on the WHO’s website has been raised strongly with the WHO. In response, the WHO has informed the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva that they have a put a disclaimer on the portal”, India's Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said in parliament on Thursday, while responding to a question on the matter.
"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", Muraleedharan also stated.
The Indian minister also informed the parliament that the country's Permanent Representative to Geneva Indramani Pandey had raised the map issue with the WHO three times in recent weeks, most recently on 8 January in a letter to WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The contentious map, which appears on WHO’s COVID scenario dashboard, the recently created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are marked in a grey colour, whereas the China-controlled part of the Jammu and Kashmir region is marked in grey with blue stripes. The other parts of India, meanwhile, are depicted in navy blue colour.
Before putting up the disclaimer, the WHO maintained that it had followed United Nations (UN) guidelines on the depiction of maps on its portal.
The region of Jammu and Kashmir is administered as three units by India, Pakistan, and China. India claims the entire territory as its own. New Delhi and Islamabad have fought three wars over the Kashmir region since 1947. India has repeatedly rejected outside interference in the matter, despite Islamabad on several occasions calling for mediation from other powers.