New Delhi: India on Tuesday strongly rejected a resolution adopted by Pakistan national assembly on the amended citizenship law, calling it a poorly disguised effort to divert attention from Islamabad’s “appalling treatment” and “persecution” of its own religious minorities.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said the resolution makes references to matters which are entirely internal to India. “We categorically reject the resolution,” it said, adding that Pakistan Parliament’s action was “laughable” and the neighbouring country should engage in serious self-introspection instead of making false accusations.
The ministry said the resolution was a thinly-veiled attempt by Pakistan to further its “false narrative” on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. “It seeks to provide justification for Pakistan’s unrelenting support for cross-border terrorist activities in India. We are confident that such attempts will fail,” it added.
Pakistan’s Parliament on Monday unanimously passed a resolution terming India’s citizenship amendment law against the bilateral agreements and asked New Delhi to revoke the “discriminatory” clauses in it. “The resolution is a poorly disguised effort to divert attention from Pakistan’s appalling treatment and persecution of its own religious minorities,” the MEA said.
“The demographics of these minorities, whether Hindu, Christian, Sikh or other faiths, in Pakistan speak for themselves,” it said.
The MEA said the resolution “intentionally” mischaracterizes the objectives of the new law, asserting it gives citizenship to foreigners from selected countries who are persecuted religious minorities. “It does not take away the citizenship of any Indian irrespective of her or his faith,” it said.
The Citizenship Amendment Act seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslim religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who arrived in India till December 31, 2014 to escape religious persecution.
“It is laughable that the National Assembly of Pakistan, that has itself passed discriminatory legislation against religious minorities, should point fingers at others,” the MEA said. “We call upon Pakistan to engage in serious self-introspection rather than to falsely accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of,” it said.
“Pakistan would do well to remember that India is the world’s largest democracy, that all its governments have been freely and fairly elected through universal adult franchise, and that all Indians irrespective of faith enjoy equal rights under the Constitution,” the MEA said.
The resolution — moved in Pakistan National Assembly by Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood — said the Citizenship Act was “against international norms of equality and non-discrimination and International Human Rights Law”.
(With PTI inputs)
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