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Unsettling Diplomacy UAE Endorses India’s Claim Over Disputed Territories

In a significant diplomatic move, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has publicly recognized the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir as integral parts of India. This announcement has made by the UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister, Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, during the G20 Summit held in New Delhi. While the main focus of the video was on economic corridor projects linking India to the Middle East and Europe, it inadvertently highlighted the UAE’s stance on the contentious Kashmir issue, which has been a long-standing point of contention between India and Pakistan.

Implications of the UAE’s Position

The UAE’s acknowledgment of these regions as part of India effectively endorses India’s territorial claims. This not only signifies a strengthening of diplomatic ties between India and the UAE but also suggests a potential strain in relations between Pakistan and its Middle Eastern allies, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, notably canceled his official visit to Pakistan just ahead of the G20 summit in India, further indicating shifting alliances.

Impact on Pakistan’s Expected Investments

Pakistan has been anticipating substantial investments from the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the coming years. However, this recent development may potentially influence these financial commitments. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, emphasized that any map depicting the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India is legally untenable and factually incorrect.

Understanding the Kashmir Dispute

The Kashmir dispute is a longstanding conflict between India and Pakistan regarding the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. India bases its claim on a contentious instrument of accession signed by the Maharaja of Kashmir in 1947, a claim disputed by Pakistan and the Kashmiri people. The United Nations recognizes Kashmir as a disputed territory, with the exception of India.

Geopolitical Shifts in South Asia

The UAE’s recognition of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir as part of India introduces a new dimension to South Asia’s geopolitical landscape. This unexpected move indicates potential realignments in regional alliances and raises questions about the UAE’s position on the Kashmir issue. The cancellation of Saudi Arabia’s visit to Pakistan further underscores these evolving dynamics.

India’s Expanding Ties with the Middle East and Europe

India, the Middle East, and Europe are coming together to establish a new economic corridor, fostering connectivity and business opportunities. This development has viewed as a significant step toward enhancing regional trade and development. However, it also reflects changing geopolitical dynamics where alliances reshaped.

Uncertain Future for Pakistan’s Investment Prospects

Pakistan, with expectations of substantial investments from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, now faces uncertainty in light of these developments. The nation has long sought substantial investments from these Middle Eastern nations, with each committing billions over the next five years. The impact of these recent developments on these investment plans remains to seen.


The UAE’s unexpected recognition of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir as part of India adds complexity to South Asia’s geopolitical landscape. It signals potential shifts in alliances and underscores evolving dynamics in the region. Pakistan, in particular, faces challenges in navigating these changes while maintaining its relationships with key Middle Eastern allies. As these developments continue to unfold, the world watches closely to see how this emerging geopolitical puzzle resolved.

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