The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recommended sanctions against Indian Home Minister Amit Shah and other top Indian leaders after the New Delhi passed a controversial citizenship bill.
The bill offers citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring Muslim countries i.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
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
“The USCIRF is deeply troubled by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), originally introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah, in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) given the religion criterion in the bill. The CAB will now move to the Rajya Sabha (Indian Parliament’s Upper House). If the CAB passes in both houses of parliament, the United States government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership,” says USCIRF in its statement.
“The CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legitimate foundation 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, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith.”
USCIRF also expressed fear that the Indian government has created a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip citizenship from millions of Muslims. The statement continues, “In conjunction with the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam and nationwide NRC that the [Indian] Home Minister seeks to propose.”
We strongly condemn Indian Lok Sabha citizenship legislation which violates all norms of int human rights law & bilateral agreements with Pak. It is part of the RSS "Hindu Rashtra" design of expansionism propagated by the fascist Modi Govt. https://t.co/XkRdBiSp3G
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 10, 2019
Earlier, Pakistan denounced the discriminatory legislation, saying it was “driven by a toxic mix of an extremist Hindutva ideology”. PM Imran Khan on Tuesday said the legislation “violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan”.