Srinagar – 23 Apr 2012: A major row has erupted over the depiction of PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) as ‘Azad Kashmir’ in a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) textbook. ‘Geographical-historical’ book being used to teach standard III students in several schools, including those run by the army, has a map in which PoK is labelled as ‘Azad Kashmir’.
Azad Kashmir is the name used by Pakistanis for the occupied territory which India treats as an integral part of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The map in the book also shows Gilgit-Balistan as northern territory, the name given by Pakistan to those areas illegally severed from mainland PoK.
The book has been printed by a publishing house in Delhi’s Karol Bagh. On its first page, it says it is “strictly according to the latest syllabus prescribed by the CBSE, New Delhi”. Army schools in J&K have withdrawn the book. “The publishers have accepted their mistake and will supply new books,” said Sandeep Maratha, principal of Army Public school in Srinagar.
However, the state BJP wants answers from the government. “Those who have committed the mistake have violated the Constitution. They should be tried according to law,” said J&K BJP president SS Manhas.