NEW DELHI: India has hit back at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) over its statement on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, saying it was ‘regrettable and inaccurate’.
The USCIRF, hours after the Lok Sabha had passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, had called for the US government to consider sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders. The panel said in a tweet, “Religious pluralism is central to the foundations of both India and the United States and is one of our core shared values. Any religious test for citizenship undermines this most basic democratic tenet. #CABBill (sic)”.
The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said the USCIRF's remarks were not surprising.
“It is, however, regrettable that the body has chosen to be guided only by its prejudices and biases on a matter on which it clearly has little knowledge...,” the ministry statement read.
We regret the inaccurate and unwarranted comments made by USCIRF on #CAB. They have chosen to be guided by their prejudices and biases on a matter on which they have little knowledge and no locus standi.— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) December 10, 2019
Read our full statement below ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/BLajy03MtZ
Clearing the Centre’s stand on the Bill, the MEA said, “The statement made by the USCIRF on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is neither accurate nor warranted. The bill provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries.”
The Centre also said that the CAB and NRC do not seek to strip citizenship from any Indian of any faith.
“Suggestions to that effect are motivated and unjustified. Every nation, including the United States, has the right to enumerate and validate its citizenry and to exercise this prerogative through various policies,” said the MEA.