Big refugee crisis looming in South Asia: Imran Khan

Big refugee crisis looming in South Asia: Imran Khan

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan delivers a speech during the UNHCR - Global Refugee Forum at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva. AP/PTI

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that a big refugee crisis is looming in South Asia due to the steps taken by the Narendra Modi-led Indian government.

Addressing the first Global Refugee Forum as a co-convener in Geneva, Khan raised the Kashmir issue and claimed that the main aim of the Indian government is to change the "demographic composition of the territory", state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

"I want to tell the whole world that they should be aware of the biggest impending refugee crisis (in South Asia)," Khan said.

Follow the Citizenship Act protests live

Raising the issue of the abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government, Khan said, "we are likely to have another refugee crisis - a crisis that would draw other crises. I asked the world to take notice of this in my address to the UNGA."

The Indian government has said that the abrogation of Article 370 was in the interests of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. It maintains the move will help them get rights that have been denied to them for many decades.

Commenting on India's Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens, Khan said, "if 2-3 per cent of Muslims cannot prove their citizenship, it will be a challenge...I ask the international community to look into it".

"If the world puts pressure on India, we can prevent it, but once the crisis starts, we all know, it is complicated and difficult," Khan said.

The Citizenship Act seeks to provide citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have entered India till December 31, 2014 following religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The controversial law has sparked protests in several cities across India with protestors demanding its withdrawal.

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