Pakistan concerned over India’s draft geospatial bill



Pakistan has expressed concern over India’s draft Geospatial Information Regulation bill which has been released this month.

As per the bill, anyone mapping India by a satellite or aerial platform will need a licence from a government. One will have to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore and/or land in jail for seven years for non-compliance.

Pakistan’s foreign affairs ministry said they have sent letters to the UN Secretary General and the United National Security Council (UNSC) president evincing its concern over New Delhi’s efforts to introduce the Geospatial bill.

“The official map of India depicts the disputed territory of J&K as a part of India, which is incorrect and legally untenable. Once the bill is passed, New Delhi would penalise those individuals and organisations who depict J&K as a disputed territory as per the UNSC resolutions,” it said. The UN has been asked to urge India to stop such acts that infringe international law.

The public response provides a list of the things that people won’t be able to do if the Bill is passed, including being unable to geotag photos, social media posts, record my daily running, cycling, walking or driving activity with smartphone apps, share location with friends and others via smartphone apps such as WhatsApp, food delivery apps and transport apps.