India’s map bill untenable, a travesty of history: Pakistan

United Nations, May 18 (IANS) Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi on Wednesday termed as “untenable” Indian “tactics” to depict Pakistan-administered Kashmir as part of India through a new map bill, adding that New Delhi cannot change the fundamental fact that the state is “disputed territory”.

Lodhi was referring to a controversial Indian draft bill seeking to regulate New Delhi’s geospatial information.

Under the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, anyone distributing a map that the Indian government deems to be “wrong” could be liable for a billion-rupee fine and jail time.

Voicing Pakistan’s “serious concern” over the draft bill, Lodhi termed India’s claim over Azad Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of its territory as “untenable” and a “travesty of history, morality, international law and facts on the ground”.

In her letter, now distributed as an official UN document, the Pakistani envoy regretted that the international community and the UN have “failed” to take notice of this Indian action.

Lodhi said AJK was a disputed territory and “numerous UN Security Council resolutions attest to this”.

On Tuesday, India stated that the proposed draft bill was “an entirely internal legislative matter of India, since the whole of the state is an integral part of India”.

“Pakistan or any other party has no locus standi in the matter,” the Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson added, rejecting what he called “repeated and increasing attempts by Pakistan to impose on the international community matters that it had always been open to address bilaterally”.

Lodhi called on the international community to honour its responsibility to the people of Kashmir and reiterated the need for an “independent and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices”.

–IANS

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