India asks world to stop religious persecution in Pak

India justifies its citizenship law, asks world to stop religious persecution in Pakistan

“We have all been witness to the increase in the atrocities on minorities in Pakistan over time. We have all seen what happened in Nankana Sahib recently,” said the President

The MEA had on January 28 again summoned a senior official of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and issued a strong demarche over the abduction of a Hindu girl from her wedding in Sindh province of the neighbouring country. (Credit: PTI Photo)

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday called upon the world community to take note of and stop atrocities on minority communities in Pakistan – one of the neighbouring countries India's controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act recently identified to welcome persecuted people from.

“It is the responsibility of all of us to bring the atrocities being committed in Pakistan to the notice of the global community.” Kovind said, addressing a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament. “While condemning the atrocities on the minorities in Pakistan, I urge the world community to take cognisance of it and take necessary steps in this regard.”

The Government led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) used President's customary address to Parliament on Friday to justify the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which not only triggered widespread protest across the country, but also drew flak from several international organizations as well as lawmakers in the United States and other countries in the west. The new law makes it easier for migrants of six non-Muslim religious communities – Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Parsi, Jain and Christian – from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to get citizenship of India, if they have migrated on or before December 31, 2014.

Kovind on Friday said that the CAA had fulfilled the wish of Mahatma Gandhi, who had said that if Hindus and Sikhs did not want to live in Pakistan, they could come to India and it was the responsibility of the Government of India to ensure a “normal life” for them.

He recalled the recent incident at Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan. A mob of hundreds of angry Muslims pelted stones at the shrine on January 3 last. The mob was led by the family of Mohammad Hassan, the youngster who allegedly abducted and converted Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur – the daughter of the “Granthi” of the Gurdwara.

Islamabad's acting envoy to New Delhi, Syed Haider Shah, was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs on January 6, when top diplomats lodged strong protest at the recent acts of vandalism and desecration of Nankana Sahib shrine and the targeted killing of a minority Sikh community member in Peshawar in Pakistan.

India also conveyed to Pakistan on January 17 its serious concern over recent cases of abduction of Hindu girls in the neighbouring country. A senior official of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), where top diplomats lodged strong protest and conveyed to him the concerns of Government of India on abduction of three girls of minority Hindu community in Sindh province of Pakistan. The MEA had on January 28 again summoned a senior official of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and issued a strong demarche over the abduction of a Hindu girl from her wedding in Sindh province of the neighbouring country.

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