Not everyone has welcomed the statement Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan made on granting citizenship to Afghan and Bengali refugees. Even Imran’s allies are not happy. Imran, by now, must have realised how fragile political alliances can be after Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s walkout from the National Assembly to protest Imran’s statement regarding Afghan refugees.

The reversal will mean that PTI cannot stand its ground against any amount of opposition to its proposals. We have seen this on numerous occasions that even a minimal amount of opposition has made the PM question his choices.

Why does PTI think that everyone will welcome any such statement? It is natural that people will oppose any such radical proposal as granting the Afghan and Bengali refugees nationality of Pakistan will alter constituencies and their demographics. The refugees’ issue is a longstanding one. It has no other solution but to grant citizenship to, at least, those who are born here. Imran’s suggestion is not out of the blue. Anyone who is born in Pakistan has the right to get the nationality of Pakistan according to the Citizenship Act, 1951.

It is about time that the PTI government settle the status of the refugees who are born in Pakistan. These people are denied their right that the act mentioned earlier grants them. PTI should stick to its stance on the issue in hand. PTI government’s desire is not unlawful that it fears opposition. In fact, the refugees, if granted citizenship, can add to the human resources of the country.

Instead of inviting the lawmakers to hold a debate on what should be done regarding refugees, Imran needs to convince the political parties how his idea of granting nationality to refugees will benefit Pakistan. Nevertheless, it is also a test for PTI to show that it will not compromise on human rights of anyone, even if they are not citizens of the country, and that it will fight through all opposition if need be.