Islamabad - Condemning as “regressive and discriminatory” the Citizenship Amendment law passed by the Indian parliament, Pakistan on Tuesday said the proposed legislation reflects India’s “malafide intent” to “interfere” in the affairs of neighbouring countries based on religion.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday strongly condemned the passing of Citizenship Amendment Bill by Indian Lok Sabha, saying the legislation was a violation of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan.

“It is part of the RSS Hindu Rashtra design of expansionism propagated by the fascist Modi government,” the prime minister wrote in a tweet, coinciding with his message on International Human Rights Day.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship.

On situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister said “we must appeal to the world’s conscience, to upholders of international law and to the UNSC to act against the illegal annexation of IOJK”.

“We condemn the occupying Indian government’s siege of IOJ&K ongoing for over four months now and demand an end to the gross abuse and atrocities being inflicted on Kashmiri men, women and children by Indian occupation forces in violation of all international humanitarian and human rights laws,” he said.

Imran Khan said “We salute and stand resolutely with the brave Kashmiris struggling for their right to self-determination.”

The federal cabinet on Tuesday also strongly condemned the Indian laws.

Talking to reporters, Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet strongly condemned Indian Lok Sabha for passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 to offer citizenship to the people belonging to different religions living in different countries.

“This legislation exposes the so-called secular face of the Indian government and its pragmatic depiction of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology,” she added.

Earlier, the Foreign Office in a statement termed India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill “another major step towards the realisation of the concept of ‘Hindu Rashtra’, idealised and relentlessly pursued by the right-wing Hindu leaders for several decades.”

“It is driven by a toxic mix of an extremist ‘Hindutva’ ideology and hegemonic ambitions in the region. It is also a clear manifestation of interference in the internal matters of neighbouring countries based on religion, which we reject completely,” added the statement.

“Equally reprehensible are India’s pretensions of casting itself as a homeland for minorities allegedly persecuted in the neighbouring countries. The massacre of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat, the Samjhauta Express carnage, innumerable lynchings by cow-vigilantes, repugnant schemes like Ghar Wapsi and ‘Love Jihad’, and violence against Christians, Sikhs, Jains and even low-caste Dalits are the hallmarks of the new India ruled by the proponents of the extremist Hindu ideology.

The FO statement said the continuing persecution of eight million unarmed and innocent Kashmiris, collectively incarcerated and penalised by 900,000 Indian occupation forces, goes to further illustrate this blatantly extremist mindset. This Indian legislation has also, once again, exposed the hollowness of the claims to ‘secularism’ and ‘democracy’.

“We condemn the legislation as regressive and discriminatory, which is in violation of all relevant international conventions and norms and a glaring attempt by India to interfere in the neighbouring countries with malafide intent,” said the statement.

Monitoring Desk adds: Indian Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed by the Parliament, it will be a victory of the thoughts of (Quaid-i-Azam) Muhammad Ali Jinnah over Mahatma Gandhi, Indian media reported on Tuesday.

Participating in the debate on the contentious bill, Shashi Tharoor said that the proposed legislation goes against the basic principle of the Indian Constitution. “If this bill is passed, then it will be a victory of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s thoughts over Mahatma Gandhi,” Shashi Tharoor said.

 

AN ATTACK ON CONSTITUTION: GANDHI

 

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is an attack on Indian constitution, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday, a day after the controversial Bill was passed in Lok Sabha by a majority of 311-80 votes. “The CAB is an attack on the Indian Constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation,” Rahul tweeted.

The opposition parties claim that the bill is communally divisive and is threat to the secular values enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The BJP government, on the other hand, dismissed the opposition charges asserting that the only aim of the bill is to provide shelter to persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries.

Earlier, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had echoed her elder brother’s sentiments. In an apparent reference to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech, Priyanka said that the passage of the bill was India’s tryst with “bigotry”.

Priyanka said that her party will fight against the government’s agenda to “destroy” the Constitution.