You know that India is planning to introduce a bill that would make the depiction of wrong political maps of the country a punishable offence.
The whole purpose of the bill is to ensure that foreign publications (and some overly leftist liberal intellectuals) do not show a dissected map of J&K and a disputed one of Arunachal Pradesh.
Of course, Pakistan was expected to take offence. It did on May 17 in a letter to the UN. The contents of the letter have been released to the media by the UN on Tuesday (May 24 in US).
Written by Pakistan’s ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi, Islamabad objected to India’s bill calling it a violation of UNSC’s resolutions.
In the letter, Pakistan has said that depicting Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India is “factually incorrect, legally untenable, and morally unacceptable”.
Islamabad maintains that J&K is a disputed territory and India’s proposed law makes Pakistan have “serious concerns”.
Lodhi complains that the UN and the international community is not taking note of India’s action and urged them to “honour” their commitment to the “independent and impartial plebiscite” of J&K.
Trying to paint India’s internal matter as an international one, Lodhi accuses India of using “force as a state policy” resulting in “blatant violations of international law as well as human rights abuses of the Kashmiri people”.
On May 17, India had strongly objected to Pakistan’s intervention in an “entirely internal legislative 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,” Vikas Swarup, India’s External Affairs Spokesperson had said at the time.
With the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016, India will make it mandatory for all to obtain a license to retain or depict any map of India. Chapter V of the bill states the penalty for wrong depiction of India’s map:
“Whoever depicts, disseminates, publishes or distributes any wrong or false topographic information of India including international boundaries in contravention of section 6, shall be punished with a fine ranging from Rupees ten lac to Rupees one hundred crore and/or imprisonment for a period upto seven years.”