The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Monday sought sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is passed in the Parliament.
India has the prerogative to validate its citizenry through various policies like any other country,’ said the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday.
“The statement made by the USCIRF on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is neither accurate nor warranted. The Bill 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,” said the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar.
Mr. Shah had pointed out past atrocities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan against religious minorities to justify the CAB in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The USCIRF earlier observed that the CAB “enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal precedent for citizenship based on religion.”
“The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution,” said the USCIRF in a press release.
Mr. Kumar said that neither the CAB nor the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process intended to deprive any Indian citizen of any faith of citizenship.
“Suggestions to that effect are motivated and unjustified. Every nation, including the United States, has the right to enumerate and validate its citizenry and to exercise this prerogative through various policies,” said Mr. Kumar suggesting that the USCIRF’s position was not surprising as it had been guided by “prejudices and little knowledge”.