Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma (Photo Credit: PTI file)
The BJP on Tuesday hit back at Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan for his criticism of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, describing his remarks as a blatant interference in India's affairs.
“We strongly condemn Indian Lok Sabha citizenship legislation which violates all norms of int human rights law & bilateral agreements with Pak. It is part of the RSS "Hindu Rashtra" design of expansionism propagated by the fascist Modi Govt,” Khan tweeted on Tuesday.
Terming the Bill Indian’s “internal matter”, Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma asked Khan whether he will change Pakistan from an Islamic republic to a secular republic.
"Before advising Indian parliament or commenting on Hindu Rastra, Excellency,will you please change Pakistan from a Islamic Republic to a Secular Republic?," Sarma replied to Khan’s tweet.
"If you can not then please do not waste your time with the internal matter of India like Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019," he added.
Lashing out at Khan, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said: "Imran Khan's comments on India's legislation constitute blatant interference in India's affairs...India is protecting minorities you (Imran Khan) failed to protect. With your views similar to the Congress on Article 370, CAB, etc, Tehreek-e-Insaf is looking like a new partner of Cong-led UPA."
Tehreek-e-Insaf headed by Khan is Pakistan's ruling party.
Pakistan on Tuesday said India's "regressive and discriminatory" Citizenship (Amendment) Bill reflects its "malafide intent" to interfere in the affairs of neighbouring countries based on religion, with Imran Khan describing the proposed legislation as a "design of expansionism".
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, piloted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, was comfortably passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday night as the ruling BJP enjoys a clear majority in the house.
The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non- Muslim refugees, who escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The legislation was passed by 311-80 votes in the Lower House of the Parliament.