Pakistani officials are not happy and have officially lodged a protest with the World Bank (WB).
The unpleasantness began after the global lending agency used the wrong map of Pakistan, which did not include territories of Giglit-Baltistan (G-B) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
On Tuesday, the WB’s Lead Economist for African Region Vincent Palmade delivered a presentation during official ceremony of a book launch in Islamabad where he used the misleading map.
Pakistan is lodging a strong protest over the matter because this is not the first time WB has favored India. Previously, WB denied finances for the creation of Diamer-Bhasha Dam because it was located in a disputed territory.
The book launch was during the annual general meeting and conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists, titled South Asia’s Turn: Policies to Boost Competitiveness and Create the Next Export Powerhouse.
The three-day conference was organized by joint efforts of Ministry of Planning & Development and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).
The conference is being attended by experts from across Pakistan, on the theme of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and regional integration.
Allegations and Response
The session in which the WB official used the map was chaired by Dr. Nadeem Javeid, Planning Commission’s Chief Economist.
“After consulting with the Foreign Office, we have issued a disclaimer as the WB official has shown an incomplete and incorrect map of Pakistan.”
As expected, WB defended their use of the incorrect map. WB program leader, Gabi George Afram said:
“The WB does not have any official map on Kashmir for India and Pakistan.”
It remains to be seen how the matter will be handled.