Pakistan on Tuesday said it has expressed ‘serious concern’ to the UN over a draft bill in the Indian Parliament over the map of Kashmir and called upon the world body to uphold its resolutions and urge India to stop such acts which are in “violation of international law”.
Wrong depiction of the map of India could land the violators in jail with a maximum term of seven years and impose a fine up to Rs. 100 crore, according to the draft ‘Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016’.
“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,” the Foreign Office (FO) said.
It further said that “in violation of UNSC resolutions, the official map of India has been depicting the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India, which is factually incorrect and legally untenable”.
Through the passage of this Bill, the Indian government would penalise the individuals and organisations who depict Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory as per the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, the FO said.
“The letter calls upon the United Nations to uphold the UNSC resolutions and urge India to stop such acts which are in violation of international law,” the FO said.
“While there are million different reasons why this regulation is something that will harm innovation is not in India’s best interests, international law is not one of them,” said Pranesh Prakash, policy director at Centre of Internet and Society.
“There is no violation of law that happens either through India depicting through official government sources a particular map, or by India telling others to depict such maps within India,” he added.
The Pakistani ministry has asked the United Nations to “uphold the UNSC resolutions and urge India to stop such acts which are in violation of international law.”
“We have urged the international community and the United Nations to fulfill their commitment with the people of Jammu and Kashmir by holding an independent and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.” it added.