Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed that Pak-born singer Adnan Sami and Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen were among 1986 foreign Muslims given citizenship by her government in 2016.
Revealing this here at a CAA event held as part of BJP’s nationwide ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ campaign in support of the act, Sitharaman said they include 391 Afghanistan Muslims and 1595 Pakistani Muslims who have migrated to India.
She further said that Lahore-born Adnan Sami had first arrived in India on March 13, 2001, on a visitor’s visa with the validity of one year. His Pakistani passport issued on May 27, 2010, was expired on May 26, 2015. “My government has given him the citizenship after Pakistan denied to renew it which forced him to apply for the same with the Indian government”, she said.
Similarly, she said noted Bengali writer Taslima Nasreen had to leave Bangladesh in 1994 in the wake of a death threat by fundamentalist outfits for her alleged anti-Islamic views and has been living here in New Delhi on a residence permit since 2004.
She further informed that ‘In 2019 alone, India has given citizenship to over 2838 Pakistani refugees, 948 Afghanistan refugees, and 172 Bangladeshi refugees. Besides, she said from 1964 to 2008, more than 4,00,000 Tamils migrated from Sri Lanka were given Indian citizenship.
While underlining that the act is an attempt to provide people with a better life and that the government will not snatch away anyone’s citizenship, Sitharaman said people who came from East Pakistan 50-60 years ago settled at various camps in the country. “If you visit these camps, your heart will cry,” she concluded.