New Delhi has asked, though its executive director on the Bank board BP Singh, to desist from using the term Azad Kashmir with regard to PoK, as this area is a sovereign Indian territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.
The government of India does not recognise the existence of any such region by this name (Azad Kashmir), the bank was told. Mr Singh wrote a letter after the Bank had finalised an aid package for PoK last December.
According to an official spokesperson in the foreign affairs ministry here on Friday, Mr Singh pointed out to the Bank that the so-called Azad Kashmir has no legal status.
Thereafter, the Bank clarified to the executive director that in using this phrase, it was not passing any judgement on the legal status of that area.
The clarification from the foreign ministry was prompted by fresh reports that the Bank has described PoK as Azad Kashmir while announcing the aid for a developmental project. The Bank has already issued a disclaimer in the matter, he added.
In his communication, Mr Singh wrote we find numerous references to so-called AJK in the document, and stressed that this refers to Indian territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan.