India and Pakistan Tuesday sparred over the draft Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, as Islamabad expressed “serious concern” to the United Nations over the Jammu and Kashmir map. New Delhi, which has been accused of violating international law, hit back, saying Pakistan has “no locus standi” as it is an “internal legislative matter”.
“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.
Pakistan foreign ministry Tuesday said that it has expressed “serious concern” to the UN over a draft Bill in Indian Parliament over the map of Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad has asked the world body to uphold its resolutions and urge New Delhi to stop such acts in “violation of international law”.
“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 Indian Parliament,” it said.
Pakistan also said that “in violation of UNSC resolutions, the official map of India has been depicting the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir as part of India which is factually incorrect and legally untenable”.
Shortly after the Pakistan government’s statement, Ministry of External Affairs 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,” Swarup said.
As per the draft Bill, any wrong depiction of the map of India could land violators in jail, with a maximum term of seven years and a fine up of to Rs 100 crore.