India, Pakistan spar over Geospatial Information Bill

india-map

India and Pakistan sparred over the draft Geospatial Information Regulation Bill on May 17, with Pakistan expressing “serious concern” to the United Nations over the Jammu and Kashmir map.

Having been accused of violating international law by Pakistan, India hit back saying that it is an internal legislative matter and no external party should interfere in it.

“We do not take cognisance of Pakistan’s objection to the draft Bill. We will take suggestions and views of citizens, experts and various stakeholders before finalising it. But it is the duty of the government to see that India’s map is depicted properly”, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said.

Reacting to the Indian Parliament’s draft bill, Islamabad has asked the UN to uphold its resolutions and bring a halt to New Delhi’s acts, which it claims are a violation of international law. As per the bill, any misinterpretation of India’s map could lead the violators to jail and a huge fine.

Pakistan has accused India of depicting the territory of Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India, which it termed as factually incorrect and in violation of the UNSC resolutions. “Pakistan has expressed serious concern to the United Nations Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council, through letters by our Permanent Representative in New York, with regard to the Indian government’s efforts to introduce a controversial ‘Geospatial Information Regulation Bill’ in the Indian Parliament”, a statement released by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Responding to the statement, India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “India firmly rejects Pakistan’s repeated and increasing attempts to impose on the international community matters that India has always been open to address bilaterally with it. The proposed Bill is an entirely internal legislative matter of India, since the whole of the state of J&K is an integral part of India. Pakistan or any other party has no locus standi in the matter”.

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