55 Pakistani Sindhis granted Indian citizenship
The certificates of Indian citizenship were given by home minister Rajnath Singh at a function in Shiv Shanti Ashram on Sunday evening.lucknow Updated: Jan 22, 2018 13:07 IST
It was a big day in the life of Vidya Bai, 48, who migrated from Sukhur, Pakistan to India in 1990. At last she became an Indian citizen along with 54 others of her ilk on Sunday. The certificates of Indian citizenship were given by home minister Rajnath Singh at a function in Shiv Shanti Ashram on Sunday evening.
Hundreds of Sindhi community members thanked the home minister for his effort to grant citizenship to 55 Sindhi migrants .
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath said, “A delegation of Sindhis met me when I became home minister and apprised me of the citizenship issue. I promised them all support. I am happy that I have been able to deliver and grant Indian citizenship to oppressed people from Pakistan.”
“During partition, Pakistan and India entered into an agreement to take care of minorities and their rights, which India always honoured but Pakistan always violated . The suppression of minorities continued in Pakistan and as a result, a number of Pakistanis applied for Indian citizenship. But they were not granted this for years due to small technical issues. I called the attorney general and he helped in drafting the new citizenship and visa policy. But the bill is with the standing committee as it was not passed in Rajya Sabha. Soon we will have majority in Rajya Sabha and then the bill will be passed,” Rajnath said.
He said the bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha had invested the powers of granting citizenship in the district magistrate. Now oppressed Pakistani citizens could apply for long term visa , open bank accounts and commercial establishments and their kids could get education in India. In the meantime, they could apply for citizenship.
District magistrate Kaushalraj Sharma said , “In all, 146 Pakistani Sindhis applied for citizenship out of which 55 are granted citizenship. The rest will also be granted citizenship soon.”
Head of Sindhi Samaj, Uttar Pradesh, Murlidhar Ahuja said, “ There are around 15 lakh Sindhis in the state but they don’t have any representation in the state assembly .”
Also present on the occasion were mayor of Lucknow Sanyukta Bhatia, minister in state cabinet Brajesh Pathak, Mahendra Singh and principal secretary, home RK Singh.