New Delhi: India on Tuesday said that the statement made by a federal US body on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is “neither accurate nor warranted”. Earlier in the day, the US Commission For International Religious Freedom (UCIRF) called the Bill a ‘dangerous turn in wrong direction’ while calling for American sanctions on Union Home Minister Amit Shah if the bill is approved by Parliament.
“US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s statement on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill neither accurate nor warranted,” the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a 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 & validate its citizenry & to exercise this prerogative through various policies,” the MEA added.
“Regrettable that USCIRF chose to be guided only by its biases on a matter on which it has no locus standi,” it asserted.
Giving a clarification on the CAB, Raveesh Kumar 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 Bill, which aims to guarantee Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities, i.e. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, sailed through Lok Sabha on Monday. It will be tabled for the passage in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.