Pakistan registers strong protest against implementation of India’s ‘controversial’ citizenship law


Pakistan on Thursday registered a strong protest against the implementation of India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), according to a report from state-run Radio Pakistan.

On March 11, India had announced rules to implement a 2019 citizenship law that critics call anti-Muslim. The Modi government had not crafted implementation rules for the law after protests and sectarian violence broke out within weeks of the law’s enactment in December 2019. Scores were killed and hundreds injured during days of clashes.

The CAA grants Indian nationality to Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who fled to Hindu-majority India from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan before December 31, 2014.

It is designed so that non-Muslims caught in the National Registry of Citizens dragnet would be able to use the CAA route to regain citizenship, leaving the Muslims out.

After the Modi-led government implemented the legislation just days before a general election was announced, protests broke out in the eastern state of Assam and the southern state of Tamil Nadu late on Monday evening but there were no reports of damage or any clashes with security forces.

The US government and the United Nations a day ago also expressed concerns about the contentious religion-based citizenship law in India, with the UN calling the legislation “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”.

In her weekly press briefing today, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch termed the Indian parliament’s legislation “evidently discriminatory in nature as they differentiate amongst the people based on their faith”.

She said the regulation and laws were premised on a “false assumption” that minorities are being persecuted in Muslim countries of the region and the “facade of India being a safe haven for them”.

The FO spokesperson pointed out that the rising wave of Hindutva under the BJP government led to rapid political, economic and social victimisation of Muslims and other minorities in India.

She said the discriminatory steps further exposed the “sinister agenda of transforming India into Hindu Rashtra”. Baloch advised the Indian authorities to also “stop pre-choreographed targeting and systematic marginalisation of minorities”.

The FO spokesperson highlighted that a few days ago, a group of UN special rapporteurs had urged corrective actions to protect human rights and attacks against minorities in the run-up to India’s national elections.

Baloch urged India to take action to protect its minorities, especially Muslims who, she said, were in a very difficult situation because of the “rising Hindutva”.

Condemns Modi govt actions in occupied Kashmir

The spokesperson went on to strongly condemn the Indian decision to declare the Kashmir National Front in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) as “illegal”.

“With this, a total of nine Kashmiri political parties have been outlawed in the IOK,” she said, adding that these oppressive measures reflected a vicious intent by India to stifle dissent and freedom of expression in the IOK in complete disregard of international laws.

Baloch asserted that India should immediately lift curbs on the banned Kashmiri political parties, release all political prisoners and forthwith implement the UN Security Council