Pakistan takes up India's controversial 'maps bill' with UN

Published: May 17, 2016
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The official map of India depicting the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India, is legally untenable. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The official map of India depicting the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India, is legally untenable. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed “serious concerns” to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and UN secretary general over India’s controversial ‘maps bill’ which aims to restrict geographical depictions of India and disputed Kashmir to those that are government-approved.

“Pakistan expressed serious concerns to the UN Secretary General and the President of the UNSC, through letters by its 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,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office stated.

India seeks to impose hefty fines for ‘wrong’ maps

Anyone distributing a map which the Indian government deems to be “wrong” could be liable for a billion-rupee ($15 million) fine and jail time under a new draft bill published last week.

“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,” the statement said.

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 UNSC resolutions, it added.

Further, the letter called upon the UN 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,” the FO spokesperson said.

Regional conflict: Peace linked to resolution of Kashmir dispute

Maps are a highly sensitive issue in India, which has long-running border disputes with several of its neighbours, most famously over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.

“No person shall depict, disseminate, publish or distribute any wrong or false topographic information of India including international boundaries through Internet platforms or online services or in any electronic or physical form,” the draft Geospatial Information Regulation Bill says.

The bill, which is up for public consultation, was published on the home ministry’s website on Wednesday and lists penalties, including a prison term of up to seven years and a fine of INR1 billion rupees.

New Delhi already imposes tight restrictions on maps but if it becomes law, the bill would impose specific penalties for the first time, including for online use. The new bill also states that a licence will be needed to “acquire, disseminate, publish or distribute” maps.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Tyggar
    May 17, 2016 - 2:29PM

    How many times in a week Pakistan runs to the UN?

    Violation of 1974 accord: Pakistan vows to move UN on Bangladesh
    Pakistan takes up India’s controversial ‘maps bill’ with UNRecommend

  • May 17, 2016 - 2:38PM

    India is curse to our region which has problem with all its neighbours.Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    May 17, 2016 - 2:53PM

    its like, if u want to sell more pepsi and mcdonald to me, u need to say that neighbour’s house that i grabbed by force is mineRecommend

  • snow
    May 17, 2016 - 3:29PM

    @pakistani yeah right!! also pakistan is boon to the region Recommend

  • Romm
    May 17, 2016 - 3:48PM

    @Tyggar:
    This practice was started by Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Recommend

  • Tyggar
    May 17, 2016 - 4:01PM

    @Romm:

    There is a difference between “going once” and “going once every two days”Recommend

  • Salim Khan
    May 17, 2016 - 4:20PM

    When you move UN for everything then two things become clear:
    1) You are so weak that you can’t talk to India directly.
    2) Nobody takes Pakistan seriously at UN, for Crying wolf so many times. Recommend

  • cbing
    May 17, 2016 - 4:21PM

    Leave the sentiments of common Indians or Pakistani. According to Indian constitution, Kashmir is a part of India. According to Pakistan, Kashmir is a disputed territory. But as you can see in many maps from Pakistan, Kashmir is depicted as a part of it. When Pakistan is complaining that India cannot do so in the map, when India considers it its own territory, why is Pakistan not stopping the ones there who print Kashmir as a part of Pakistan? Isn’t Pakistan’s stance in UN is that Kashmir is a disputed territory? Why don’t you guys start by passing a law that printing Kashmir as a part of Pakistan is an international offence, then can complain about India.Recommend

  • Rahul
    May 17, 2016 - 5:19PM

    @Pakistani:
    India has always been in this region for 5 millennia. It’s Pakistan which has been created out of nowhere. Ever since its inception there has been no peace in the region.Recommend

  • Rahul
    May 17, 2016 - 5:20PM

    Google Map was the first to implement this law and make a change in its maps. Recommend

  • SKS
    May 17, 2016 - 5:23PM

    Didnt Mr. Aziz take up with the UN about the ballistic missile in the beginning of the week? Now the map’s bill? If the diplomats want free trip why do you have to blame India? Also other than China who is going to listen? Why don’t you go to China directly instead of New York, atleast you will save some airfare. But how will the diplomats sightsee NY. Mr. Aziz & Co, cant invent a needle head but good at complaining & disruption.Recommend

  • Buzzkill
    May 17, 2016 - 6:06PM

    If UN were a person, it would’ve stopped taking Pakistan’s calls a long time ago.Recommend

  • Korn
    May 17, 2016 - 11:35PM

    @Pakistani: The curse to the region & in fact the whole world is the country which uses terrorism as a state policy & exports it across the world. Its the country which throughout its history has played double games by taking money from the west while aiding & abetting the terrorists which attack them. Its the country which stole nuclear technology to develop weapons & then shamefully proliferated the technology to rogue nations. Its the country which protected & gave cover to the world’s most wanted terrorist & mass murdered Osama Bin Laden for many years while its leaders lied with a straight face. Its the country which has acted like a deranged criminal since inception & refuses to mend its ways. I’m sure you know which country I’m talking about. Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    May 18, 2016 - 12:00AM

    If Kashmir is penning issue of 1947 then 200 million Muslims living in india who should have gone to Pakistan in 1947 is India’s pending issue of 1947. Maharashtra and Haryana Chief Ministers and Assam Governor has already publically asked Muslim to leave. India is going Burma way and world will understand.Recommend

  • Sunil
    May 18, 2016 - 5:07AM

    @Pakistani: India existed well before Pakistan and you are occupying our lands, we have not forgotten. You are a mango and potato economy, apart from those exports you have nothing to offer. No one will listen to you guys, you are a joke world wide. How many times do you want to run to the UN? Why not use your most powerful Islamic army and go to war with us? Recommend

  • cbing
    May 18, 2016 - 12:18PM

    @Chacha Jee:

    Every heard of Southern states of India?Recommend

  • Sunil
    May 18, 2016 - 1:53PM

    @cbing: Southern states of India are with us. At the end of the day our economic development and progress is giving more opportunity to the people as in Kashmir. Have you ever read anything other then the slanted view point of your own countries news reports?Recommend

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