Facebook shows Pakistan side of Kashmir as Independent

By Fahad Shah

World’s rank two website, facebook.com, a social networking site which has 800 million users throughout the world, in its Maps, shows the Pakistan side of Jammu and Kashmir as an independent part, naming it as “Azad Kashmir”. Another disputed state of India, Arunachal Pradesh, and Aksai Chin, a part of Jammu and Kashmir, are also shown as disputes with China with a dotted line as sharing border with both India and China.

This comes after Facebook has been updating the interface and changed the users profile page to its new feature Timeline. The map is showed in the Map section of the users Timeline. The mention of Pakistan side of Kashmir as Independent is also in the locations database of the site. A user while editing his/her info can add Azad Kashmir (Independent Kashmir) as location.

In the past, India had problems with organizations like Google but this is the first time that Facebook has shown part of Kashmir as independent. In the recent past, most such cases of disputed parts of India on maps were published.  Last month, the official website of US department of state, which handles foreign relations of the country, showed Pakistan side of Kashmir as part of Pakistan.

In May, this year, The Economist magazine also had a diagram showing how control of Kashmir, is split between India, Pakistan and China. India reacted to it strictly and customs officers ordered that 28,000 copies of the influential news weekly should have stickers manually placed over the diagram. “India is meant to be a democracy that approves of freedom of speech. China will not distribute whole issues for other reasons, but there is no country I know in the world that takes the extreme attitude that India does,” John Micklethwait, editor in chief of The Economist, told AFP.

Facebook map showing part of Kashmir as Independent

The Economist Magazine diagram showing Kashmir claimed by India, China and Pakistan

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  1. The oddity is not limited to the Kashmir classification as state, but also the absence of the same classification of the rest of the Indian states. Bing, the Microsoft map system and service provider to FB has decided to classify Kashmir as state, whereas the other Indian states are merely mapped.