The United States is concerned about the implications of the Citizenship Act in India, a top American diplomat responsible for monitoring international religious freedom said on Friday, 13 December.
"One of India's great strengths is its Constitution. As a fellow democracy, we respect India's institutions, but are concerned about the implications of the CAB Bill," Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, said in a tweet.
One of #India’s great strengths is its Constitution. As a fellow democracy, we respect India’s institutions, but are concerned about the implications of the #CABBill. We hope the government will abide by its constitutional commitments, including on religious freedom.— Ambassador Sam Brownback (@IRF_Ambassador) December 13, 2019
US Urges India to Protect Rights of Religious Minorities
The United States had earlier urged India to protect the rights of its religious minorities in keeping with its Constitution and democratic values as it continues to monitor the developments in various Indian states related to the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
"“We are closely following developments regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law are fundamental principles of our two democracies.”" - Spokesperson, State Department
"The US urges India to protect the rights of its religious minorities in keeping with India's Constitution and democratic values," the spokesperson said on Thursday, 12 December.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 11 December. Lok Sabha cleared the Bill on Monday, 9 December.
The parliament nod to the bill has led to protests by the people in various states of the country, especially in the Northeastern region.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the Bill provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries.
It asserted that every nation has the right to enumerate and validate its citizenry, and to exercise the prerogative through various policies.
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