Who is Aatish Ali Taseer?

British-born writer Aatish Ali Taseer. (DH photo)

The government on Friday revoked British-born writer Aatish Ali Taseer's Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card claiming that he concealed the fact that his father was a Pakistani. OCI norms state that those with links to Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot get OCI card, which gives legitimacy to their Indian links but not citizenship.
A Home Ministry spokesperson said Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card, as per the Citizenship Act, 1955, as the OCI card is not issued to any person whose parents or grandparents are Pakistanis. 

Who is Aatish Taseer? 

Aatish Taseer is the author of the controversial article titled 'India's Divider in Chief' on Narendra Modi that was published as Time magazine cover story ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2019. In the article, he asked, ‘Can the world’s largest democracy endure another five years of a Modi government?’

Also read — Govt panned for revoking Aatish Taseer's OCI card

The article irked a lot of people, who attacked him on his 'Pakistani' identity. Taseer even received criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had then  referred him as a Pakistani national and said "that (Pakistani political family background) is enough for his credibility."

Aatish, born to Salmaan Taseer and Tavleen Singh, has worked for Time magazine. Besides, as a freelance journalist, he has written for Prospect magazine, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times, TAR Magazine and Esquire, among others. His pieces centred around the political, and socio-economic situation in Pakistan after his father's assassination. 

Renowned Parents

Aatish's mother, Tavleen Singh, is a renowned journalist who has worked with The Telegraph, The Statesman, Sunday Times (London) and others.

His father, Salman Taseer, was a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party since the 1980s. He was appointed as the governor of Punjab on May 15, 2008, by the then-President Musharraf at the request of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. Senior Taseer was an outspoken critic of Pakistan's blasphemy laws and consequently called for the pardon for Asia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. He, however, had to pay the price for protesting with his life. 

On January 4, 2011, Salman was assassinated at the Kohsar Market in Islamabad by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri, who disagreed with his opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy law. 

The revoking of OCI seems to be the price that Aatish Taseer is paying for attacking PM Modi in his article. The Time magazine cover brought to the fore his 'Pakistani' lineage, a narrative which has dominated the headlines more often than not in recent years. 

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