Delhi trashes Pakistan’s concerns over India’s Kashmir map bill
New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) India on Tuesday dismissed Pakistan’s concerns over the proposed “Geospatial Information Regulation Bill”, saying that Islamabad has no locus standi on this issue.
“The proposed bill is an entirely internal legislative matter of India, since the whole of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement.
“Pakistan or any other party has no locus standi in the matter,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan expressed “serious concern” to the United Nations over the Indian government’s efforts to pass a parliamentary legislation which aims to restrict geographical depiction of India and the “disputed” region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Under the draft “Geospatial Information Regulation Bill”, anyone distributing a map that the Indian government deems to be “wrong” could be liable for a billion-rupee fine and jail term.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said India’s “incorrect and legally untenable” official map, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, displays the Pakistani side of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India.
A letter Pakistan’s permanent representative sent to the UN in this regard calls on the world body to uphold the Security Council resolutions, and urges India “to stop acts that are in violation of international law”.
“The government 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 Pakistan,” Swarup said in his statement.