India on Tuesday hit back at the top US panel for demanding sanctions against Union Home Minister Amit Shah if the Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed. The Ministry of External Affairs issued a stinging reply to the Federal US Commission’s statement. “Neither Citizenship Amendment Bill nor National Register of Citizens process seeks to strip citizenship from any Indian citizen of any faith. Every nation, including the US, has right to enumerate and validate its citizenry and to exercise this prerogative through various policies,” the Ministry of External Affairs statement said. “The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries. It seeks to address their current difficulties and meet their basic human rights,” the statement further said.
USCIRF is deeply troubled by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha. The CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.https://t.co/E8DafI6HBH— USCIRF (@USCIRF) December 9, 2019
In a statement issued on Monday, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said that it was deeply troubled over the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha.
"If the CAB passes in both houses of parliament, the US government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister Amit Shah and other principal leadership," the commission said. "USCIRF is 'deeply troubled' by the passage of the CAB, originally introduced by Home Minister Shah, in the Lok Sabha given the religion criterion in the bill," it added.
According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will be given Indian citizenship.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night expressed delight over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, saying the proposed law is in line with India's centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values.
"Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich and extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the Bill. This Bill is in line with India's centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values," he tweeted.