Sun, 12 Jul 2020

Brussels [Belgium], Jan 27 (ANI): The European Parliament will discuss the draft resolution on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) during a plenary session on Wednesday.

The 154 members EP members drafted the five-page resolution fearing that the recently enacted legislation by India could trigger the "largest statelessness crisis in the world." The Parliament is expected to vote on January 30.

The resolution describes the CAA as "discriminatory" and "dangerously divisive" but also a "violation of India's international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights".

India adopted the CAA in December last year that grants citizenship rights to the persecuted minorities of neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

"However, the legislation has triggered the fears of the Muslim community since its enactment as the naturalisation of non-Muslim refugees, namely undocumented migrants from the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014," the resolution stated.

It also called the CAA "explicitly discriminatory in nature" as it excludes Muslims from having access to the same provisions as other religious groups.

The resolution has also called on the Indian government to ensure the right to peaceful protest is allowed and to guarantee the life and physical integrity of those who choose to protest.

In addition, during the debate, the European Parliament will also take up the Kashmir issue.

On Sunday, sources told ANI that some members of the EU Parliament sponsored a draft resolution on the citizenship law. However, the legislation has been adopted by due process and through democratic means after a public debate in both Houses of Parliament, they added.

Members of the European Parliament should engage with the Indian government to get a full and accurate assessment of the facts with respect to the legislation "before proceeding further", sources said.

Calling CAA an internal matter of India, the sources said that the EU Parliament should not take actions that call into question the rights and authority of democratically elected legislatures in other regions of the world.

"Every society that fashions a pathway to naturalisation, contemplates both a context and criteria. This is not discrimination. In fact, European societies have followed the same approach," the sources pointed out.

"We hope sponsors and supporters of the draft will engage with us to get a full and accurate assessment of the facts before they proceed further. As fellow democracies, the EU Parliament should not take actions that call into question the rights and authority of democratically elected legislatures in other regions of the world," they added. (ANI)

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