Geospatial Bill: Pakistan voices opposition; Rijiju terms it 'domestic matter'

New Delhi: On Tuesday India reacted strongly to Pakistan seeking UN intervention on the Indian draft bill on map, saying it was an "entirely internal legislative matter" and Pakistan or any other party has no locus standi on it.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India "firmly rejects" repeated and increasing attempts by Pakistan to impose on the international community matters that it 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.

"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 response to a question on Pakistan Foreign Office press release on India's Geospatial Bill.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Earlier, in Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) issued a statement saying it has expressed "serious concern" to the UN over a draft bill in the Indian Parliament over the map of Kashmir and has asked the world body to uphold its resolutions and urge India to stop such acts which are 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 the Indian Parliament," it 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".

Terming the matter as domestic, Minister of State, Kiren Rijiju told ANI: It's our domestic matter, there was no need for Pakistan to respond on this. It is just a rough draft and at an initial stage. The bill will be introduced in Parliament only after taking into consideration suggestions of Indian citizens and stakeholders."

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'.


Published Date: May 17, 2016 09:10 pm | Updated Date: May 17, 2016 09:12 pm


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