New Delhi: Responding to Pakistan’s expression of concern to the United Nations over the depiction of Jammu and Kashmir in India’s draft geospatial information bill, the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) on Tuesday said that the proposed (map) bill is an entirely internal legislative matter of India and that neither Pakistan nor any other party has locus standi on the matter.
“The proposed bill is an entirely legislative matter of India since the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan or any other party has no locus standi on that matter,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
“The government firmly rejects repeated and increasing attempt to impose on the international community matters that India has always been open to address bilaterally with Pakistan,” he added.
Pakistan has expressed serious concern over India’s efforts to pass the controversial Geospatial Information Regulation Bill which aims to restrict geographical depictions of India and disputed Kashmir to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that India’s “incorrect and legally untenable” official map, in violation of UNSC resolutions, displays the disputed territory of Azad Jammu and Kashmir as part of India, reports the Dawn.
Zakaria asserted that with the passage of the Bill, New Delhi would be able to penalise the individuals and organisations that depict Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) as a disputed territory in accordance with UNSC resolutions.
Although, New Delhi already imposes tight restrictions on maps but if it becomes law, it would impose specific penalties for the first time.
In a letter sent to the UN in this regard by Pakistan’s permanent representative in New York, Islamabad calls on the body to uphold the UNSC resolutions and urged India to stop acts that are in violation of international law.
Islamabad has also urged the international community and the UN to fulfill their commitment to the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir by holding an independent and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.