ISLAMABAD - The first meeting of the Steering Committee on Sustainable Energy for All was marred by controversy over Pakistani map presented by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) which did not show Azad Jammu and Kashmir as part of the country.

The controversy emerged after the United Nation Development Programme representative presented their own version of Pakistani map during a meeting which allegedly excluded some parts of Pakistan. The display angered Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and he ordered the removal of the copies of the presentation.

The UNDP representative was to highlight the energy availability alternatives and other related issues to the Steering Committee on Sustainable Energy for All. The meeting held here was attended by the federal minister for planning, development and reforms, Secretary Water and Power Younis Dhaga, officials of United Nations Development Programme and other concerned departments.

The UNDP representative displayed a highly controversial map which angered the minister and he ordered removal of the documents from the presentation. The minister also directed that in future no map of Pakistan other than officially issued one should be made part of any official presentation, an official said.

A source privy to the development told The Nation that the UNDP map was taken from the American aid agency USAID which didn't show AJK as part of Pakistan.

In 2013, during a presentation at the inauguration of a computer centre at the Mepco office, USAID officials had displayed a map which showed Azad Jammu and Kashmir as a separate area from Pakistan and did not show Indian-occupied Kashmir at all. The displaying of controversial map prompted a harsh criticism from the Mepco Engineers Association and they accused USAID officials of trying to please India. The Mepco Engineers Association demanded apology from the USAID and banned the aid agency officials from entering the premises of the Mepco office.

In the steering committee meeting the minister termed such an attitude, from an international organisation unacceptable and said that the developmental partners should only use maps provided by the government of Pakistan, the source said.

This is very unfortunate that a map is presented by an organisation linked with an august body which is considered free from controversy.

Even last week the wrong map of Pakistan was displayed during the inauguration ceremony of the CASA-1000 energy power project in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The prime minister jointly inaugurated the project with other CASA-1000 partner countries. The map showed Azad Jammu and Kashmir and even Gilgit-Baltistan as part of India.

The second meeting of steering committee will be held only after the provision of the right map of Pakistan by UNDP, the source said.

To avoid such future controversies, the government of Pakistan is required to direct all its friendly states, international organisations, and development partners not to use USAID or any other map of Pakistan, the source said.