India hits back after US panel slams CAB: Neither accurate nor warranted
India says the US panel USCIRF's statement condemning a controversial bill on citizenship, now pending approval by the Rajya Sabha, is "neither acuurate nor warranted".
If made law, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would give non-Muslim refugees from religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh a path to Indian citizenship.
Critics of the bill say it is unconstitutional. The United States Commission on Interational Religious Freedom (USCIRF) described the legislation as "a dangerous turn in the wrong direction", and said it was "deeply troubled" by its passage in the Lok Sabha.
"If the CAB passes in both Houses of Parliament, the United States government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister [the bill was introduced by Amit Shah] and other principal leadership," the USCIRF said.
India's Ministry of External Affairs said the citizenship bill "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."
Neither the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill nor the National Register of Citizens process seek to strip citizenship from any Indian citizen of any faith, the MEA said.
Every nation, including the US, has the right to enumerate and validate its citizenry and to exercise this prerogative through various policies, it said.