NEW DELHI – The TV network Al-Jazeera was off the air in India on Thursday following a 5-day suspension ordered by the government over maps of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
India is deeply sensitive about how Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both, is portrayed on maps. A government report said that in the Al-Jazeera maps a portion of Kashmir had "not been shown as a part of Indian territory."
The suspension began Wednesday and is to last until next Monday. On Thursday, a message displayed on the Al-Jazeera channel said that "as instructed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting this channel will not be available."
The Qatar-based network condemned the suspension and asked for talks with the Indian government.
According to Al-Jazeera, the maps were produced by outside software and were revised shortly after Indian authorities complained.
"This ban is a disproportionate response to an issue that we fixed promptly after it was pointed out," Al Anstey, managing director of Al-Jazeera English, said in a statement. "It needlessly deprives Indian viewers of our global news."