August 5th marked one of the darkest days of the century—when India illegally revoked the special status of Kashmir and imposed a draconian siege upon the oppressed residents of Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOK). Yet the day should not be seen in hopelessness and despair—it can also be viewed as the day in which India’s fascism was revealed to the world. Yesterday’s press conference, where Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled a new political map of Pakistan which also included the whole of Kashmir, should be seen in the light of bringing hope to Kashmiris that this oppression will end, that better days are on their way, and that Pakistanis stand in solidarity with them.

The premier said that it would now be the “official map” after being approved by the federal cabinet, which had met earlier today, and would be the one used in schools and colleges. The new map includes Gilgit-Baltistan, Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir, and perhaps most interestingly Junagadh, referring to the historical claim that Pakistan has upon Junagadh, wherein the Nawab of Junagadh had acceded the territory to Pakistan, but was overtaken by the Indian military.

The details of this map can and will be discussed as the days go on and the government reveals further policies with regards to Kashmir. For now, it should be taken for the immensely important value that this gesture holds. It is an answer to India that the actions a year earlier have consequences, and that Pakistan has not forgotten the Kashmiri cause. It is an expression of solidarity towards the residents of IIOK who have been placed under strict lockdown in order to clamp down any protests for August 5. The map also clearly shows Pakistan’s good-faith intentions in comparison to India’s sinister ways—the map still distinguishes between “Indian illegally-occupied Kashmir”, and the rest of Kashmir, choosing not to ignore reality, as India often does. Pakistan’s premier has also reiterated its commitment to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions which give the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination, as the map was unveiled, showing once again that Pakistan takes dire steps only when India’s illegal actions are continuously overlooked.

It is hoped this map will give strength to the Kashmiris in these dark times and will serve as a wake-up call to India that its fascism will no longer be tolerated.