India has conveyed a strong protest to Malaysia over Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's comments claiming that India was taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship. “Malaysia told that the remarks are neither in keeping with accepted diplomatic practice nor in sync with state of bilateral ties, sources said.
The Charge d'Affairs of Malaysian embassy was summoned to the External Affairs Ministry and he was conveyed India's anguish over Mohamad's comments, official sources said. It was also conveyed that such remarks are both ill-informed and insensitive, the sources said, adding Malaysia was asked to take a long-term and strategic view of the relations between the two countries. Mohamad made some adverse comments against the citizenship law at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
On Friday, the External Affairs Ministry termed as "factually incorrect" remarks reportedly made by Mohamad's that India is taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship.
The ministry also said Malaysia should refrain from commenting on the internal developments of India, especially without a right understanding of the facts.
After visiting the media centre at the Kuala Lumpur Summit on Friday, Mohamad had reportedly said: "I am sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, is now taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship."
"If we do that here, you know what will happen. There will be chaos, there will be instability and everyone will suffer," he said.
Responding to Mohamad's reported remarks, the ministry in a statement said: "According to media reports, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has yet again remarked on a matter that is entirely internal to India."
"The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides for citizenship through naturalisation to be fast-tracked for non-citizens who are persecuted minorities from three countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan)," it said.
The ministry said the Act does not impact in any manner on the status of any citizen of India, or deprive any Indian of any faith of her or his citizenship.
"Therefore, the Prime Minister of Malaysia's comment is factually inaccurate. We call upon Malaysia to refrain from commenting on internal developments in India, especially without a right understanding of the facts," it said.
On September 29, Mohamad had raised the Kashmir issue at the UN, alleging that India has "invaded and occupied" Jammu and Kashmir and asking New Delhi to work with Pakistan to resolve the issue.
(With PTI inputs)