ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday strongly condemned controversial legislation passed by the Indian Parliament which will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims.
PM tweeted this morning “We strongly condemn Indian Lok Sabha citizenship legislation which violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan”.
The premier described the move as “part of the RSS Hindu Rashtra design of expansionism propagated by the fascist Modi government”.
The draft law will grant citizenship to religions minorities from neighbouring Muslim countries but excludes Muslims.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship of India. There are no similar provisions for Muslim refugees.
The bill sailed through the lower house with 311 votes in favour and 80 against shortly after midnight on Monday.
The Foreign Office in a statement called the move “a 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 statement read.
It added, “The latest legislation is 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. It is driven by a toxic mix of an extremist ‘Hindutva’ ideology and hegemonic ambitions in the region.”
“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 neighboring countries with malafide intent,” the statement added.