Hindu, Sikh refugees from Pakistan eagerly waiting for passage of Citizenship Bill

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New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2019 10:39:07 PM

Some of the migrants narrated their problems while recounting the stories of harassment and torture experienced back home in Pakistan.

Even after getting disappointed that the bill could not fructify in the just-concluded Winter session, they have not given up hope.

Thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan are eagerly awaiting the passage of a bill (Citizenship Bill) by Parliament that would grant them Indian citizenship. Even after getting disappointed that the bill could not fructify in the just-concluded Winter session, they have not given up hope. They have trickled into India over the last two decades from places like Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions of Pakistan after facing persecution back there.

They are now living in places like Amritsar and Ludhiana in Punjab. While talking to ANI, some of the migrants narrated their problems while recounting the stories of harassment and torture experienced back home in Pakistan.

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“As time passed, dangers in terms of living increased. We realised that here we have dangers of respect and religion. Also our daughters, children will have to face many problems. Muslims used to force us to change our religion. It has been 20 years that we are living in India and waiting for Citizenship Bill.” Another added, “We faced many problems. Girls were forced to cover their face. There were no schools for us and study was a problem. Majority of our family is still living there. We appeal to the government to pass the Citizenship Bill so that our problems are finished. Every year we had to extend our visas.”

Meanwhile, allaying fears on the Bill, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that the Bill assured that the government was committed to preserving the distinct culture and identity of the Northeast. Singh said the Bill will pave way for Indian citizenship to the persecuted religious minorities from three countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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