The CAA is specifically for religious minorities from these three Muslim majority countries who entered India before December 31, 2014.

How leaders in Pakistan Bangladesh and Afghanistan have reacted to CAAPTI photos
news CAA Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 16:53

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said in a recent interview that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act enacted in India is unnecessary. She was speaking to Gulf News when she said that she doesn’t understand why the Indian government passed the CAA, and added that it was “not necessary”. She said, however, that this is India’s internal matter.

The CAA aims to provide fast track citizenship to religious minorities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- from the neighbouring nations of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan who entered India before 31 December 2014. The contentious Act has come under widespread criticism – within India as well – for excluding Muslims. The Indian government’s defence is that these are Muslim majority countries where Muslims would not have faced persecution.

However, not only does the CAA not specify 'religious persecution' anywhere, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has countered the Indian government's defence. In an interview to The Hindu, he recently said that there weren’t persecuted minorities in Afghanistan; the entire country is persecuted. “We have been in war and conflict for a long time. All religions in Afghanistan — Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs — which are our three main religions, have suffered,” he said.

Karzai further urged India to treat all Afghans equally, and said that the sentiment to protect all minorities, including Muslims from Afghanistan, should reflect in India’s approach as well.

Meanwhile, Hasina said in her interview that Bangladesh had not yet recorded any reverse migration from India; however, those within India were “facing many problems”. She reiterated that the CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens) are India’s internal matters.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in December that there were fears of millions of Muslims fleeing India due to the situation in Kashmir, where article 370 was abrogated five months ago, and the CAA. He anticipated a “refugee crisis” which would exceed other crises. He was speaking at the Global Forum on Refugees in Geneva, and said that Pakistan will not be able to able to accept more refugees from India and urged the world to “step in now”.

 

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