India asks Saudi to change controversial banknote map

Delhi asks Saudi Arabia to change banknote map showing J&K, Ladakh out of India

The new banknote issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority was initially cheered by the netizens of India

New Delhi has now lodged a protest with the Saudi Arabian government and asked it to immediately withdraw the banknote and reissue it with the correct map of India. Credit: iStock

A new 20 Riyal banknote issued by the Saudi Arabian government has irked New Delhi as it depicted Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh outside the territory of India.

The new banknote issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority was initially cheered by the netizens of India, as the world map printed on it did not show Gilgit-Baltistan and the parts of Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan as part of the territory of the neighbouring country. However, it was noticed later that the map on the banknote also put Ladakh and J&K outside the territory of India.

New Delhi has now lodged a protest with the Saudi Arabian government and asked it to immediately withdraw the banknote and reissue it with the correct map of India.

The banknote was issued to commemorate Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency. The King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, will host the G20 summit next month.

“We have seen the banknote which gives an incorrect depiction of India's external territorial boundaries,” Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said.

The Modi Government lodged a protest with Saudi Arabia, both through the envoy of Riyadh to New Delhi as well as through the Embassy of India in the capital of the kingdom.

New Delhi conveyed its “serious concern” over “gross misrepresentation” of India’s “external territorial boundaries” on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia. Srivastava said that New Delhi had asked Saudi Arabian government to take “urgent corrective steps in this regard”.

“I would like to further reiterate that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of India,” said the MEA spokesperson.