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Official Spokesperson's response to queries on comments made by US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB)

December 10, 2019

In response to queries regarding comments made by US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), the Official Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said,

"The Statement made by the USCIRF on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is neither accurate nor warranted. The Bill provides 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. Such an initiative should be welcomed, not criticized by those who are genuinely committed to religious freedom.

The CAB does not affect the existing avenues available to all communities interested in seeking citizenship from doing so. The recent record of granting such citizenship would bear out the Government of India’s objectivity in that regard.

Neither the CAB nor the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process seeks to strip citizenship from any Indian citizen of any faith. Suggestions to that effect are motivated and unjustified. Every nation, including the United States, has the right to enumerate and validate its citizenry, and to exercise this prerogative through various policies.

The position articulated by USCIRF is not surprising given its past record. It is, however, regrettable that the body has chosen to be guided only by its prejudices and biases on a matter on which it clearly has little knowledge and no locus standi."

New Delhi
December 10, 2019
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