Pak says India’s ‘discriminatory’ Citizenship Bill violates bilateral agreements, minority rights

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Pakistan has decried the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha terming it a “discriminatory legislation”, which is in complete contravention of various bilateral agreements between the two neighbours, particularly the one concerning security and rights of minorities in the respective countries.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office, in a statement said that the latest legislation, which offers Indian nationality to the nationals of Pakistan and two other South Asian countries except Muslims, passed by the Indian Lok Sabha earlier today, is “premised on a falsehood and is in complete violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international Covenants on elimination of all forms of discrimination based on religion or belief.” Taking its diabolic rhetoric on the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ further, the statement bluffed that the “legislation has once again exposed the hollowness of the claims to ‘secularism’ and ‘democracy’.”
“We condemn the legislation as regressive and discriminatory, which is in violation of all relevant international conventions and norms, and a glaring attempt by India to interfere in the neighbouring countries with malafide intent,” the statement read.
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes where 391 members were present and voting.
The debate on the same lasted for seven hours.
The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Through this Bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded Home Minister Amit Shah for “lucidly” explaining all aspects of the Bill. “He also gave elaborate answers to the various points raised by respective lawmakers during the discussion in the Lok Sabha,” the Prime Minister added.
Next, the bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha where the NDA will require the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member house.

 

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TheDispatch Staff