Your maps cannot change the disputed status of J&K state: Maleeha Lodhi

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SRINAGAR

Maleeha Lodhi
Maleeha Lodhi

In a letter to the UN, Pakistan has raised serious concern over the controversial bill showing the state of Jammu and Kashmir as integral part of India. Pakistan envoy, Maleeha Lodhi has said that Indian tactics to depict Jammu and Kashmir as part of India cannot change the fundamental fact that the State is a disputed territory.

In a reaction to Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesman’s claim that the State is integral part of India and that the proposed Geospatial Information Regulation Bill is an entirely internal legislative matter of India, Pakistan’s representative at the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi said in an interview to Radio Pakistan, “Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and numerous UN Security Resolutions attest to this. India’s claim is a travesty of history, morality, international law and facts on the ground.”

Pertinently, the issue was raised after Indian maps show all of Kashmir as being part of India, and not divided between Pakistan, India and China.

The proposed Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, which would affect digital maps from Google, Apple, and Uber, is facing stiff opposition from campaign groups in India as well. It also bans information, including disputed international borders.

The Indian government has said that “the rules would not create barriers to business if the bill became law.”

The bill bans all types of geospatial information, maps, raw data or photographs, acquired by any means, including satellite photography. Offenders could be fined up to 1bn rupees (£10.4m). It also requires anyone who has already gathered such information to apply for a licence to keep it.

Critics say the definition of geospatial data is so wide it could include printed maps, world atlases, or depictions of the country in international magazines imported to India.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council has issued her (Maleeha) letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the Council’s President, in which she voiced Pakistan government’s serious concern over the Indian move.

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