KERALA

WHO website shows a divided Kashmir

KOZHIKODE NOV. 13. A distorted map of Jammu and Kashmir has been posted on the website of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This has been pointed out by a number of human rights and social rights activists.

At a time when India is engaged in sorting out bilateral and border issues with Pakistan and China, the displaying of a misrepresented map of Kashmir on the website of a reputed international arm of the United Nations is enough to whip up a row.

Recently, the website site of the Foreign Ministry of China had posted Sikkim as an independent country, but changed when India protested against it. On October 8, India's Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal had announced this in Nusa Dua (Bali) after a meeting between the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, at a Bali resort.

The general secretary of AHR, Bose Kottappuram, while protesting against the creators of the website of the WHO, demanded that the Union Government immediately take up the issue with the international agency. This could not be taken lightly as Kashmir was an integral part of India and the misrepresentation by joining two portions of Kashmir with Pakistan and China amounted to breach of international laws.

He also alleged that misrepresenting Kashmir was a conspiracy of some international organisations and groups. The AHR would initiate legal proceedings against the WHO's Indian representatives and the Central Health Ministry, Mr. Manjeri Sundar Raj, the chairman of the AHR said.

The website of India gave statistics such as population (1,025,095,000), GDP per capita: 1,461, life expectancy at birth male/female (years): 51.5/51.3, health life expectancy at birth m/f (per 1,000): 89/98, adult mortality m/f (per 1,000): 291/222, total health expenditure per capita : 71 and total health expenditure as % of GDP : 4.9.

The contents of the website include selected indicators, disease outbreaks, emergencies, immunisation coverage, attended delivery care, home-based long-term care, health legislation, specific health conditions such as polio and incidence and prevalence tuberculosis and oral health, besides human resources in the health sector.

The exclusive websites of WHO for Pakistan and China also feature the statistics and similar contents that are found in the WHO website on India.