Imran condemns passing of India's Citizenship Bill, terms it violation of human rights law
The Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to all religious minorities barring Muslims who are fleeing persecution.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday condemned the passing of India's controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which seeks to give Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, saying that it "violates all norms of international human rights law" with Islamabad.
In a tweet, Khan said: "We strongly condemn Indian Lok Sabha citizenship legislation which violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan.
"It is part of the RSS 'Hindu Rashtra' design of expansionism propagated by the fascist Modi govt."
Khan's remarks come after the draft legislation was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday midnight after the division of votes with 311 in its favour and 80 against it.
The Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Pakistan on Tuesday said the proposed legislation reflects India's "malafide intent" to "interfere" in the affairs of neighbouring countries based on religion.
The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, a little past midnight on Monday.
According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Pakistan Foreign Office (FO), in a post mid-night statement said: "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".
It said that the law "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."
"The Lok Sabha legislation is also in complete contravention of various bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India, particularly the one concerning security and rights of minorities in the respective countries,".
The FO, however, said the latest legislation by the Indian government was another major step towards the realisation of the concept of "Hindu Rashtra, idealised and relentlessly pursued by the right-wing Hindu leaders for several decades".
The law is driven by a toxic mix of an extremist "Hindutva ideology and hegemonic ambitions" in the region and is also a clear manifestation of interference in the internal matters of neighbouring countries based on religion, which Pakistan rejects completely, the FO said.
"Equally reprehensible are India's pretentions of casting itself as a homeland for minorities allegedly persecuted in the neighbouring countries," it said.
The Foreign Office said India's action in Kashmir has affected 8 million people and it further displayed the government's policies.
The legislation has "exposed the hollowness of the claims to secularism and democracy. Pushed by the majoritarian agenda, it has revealed to the world the RSS-BJP exclusivist mentality and the true extent of their animus against the Muslims," the statement said.
(With PTI Inputs)