After Sheikh Hasina, Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Makes Negative Comment On New Citizenship Law
“Afghanistan has no persecuted minorities. All Afghans have suffered over the years of conflict, irrespective of religion”, says former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 20—After Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed questioned the contentions Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Narendra Modi government, former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai made negative comment about the law on Sunday.
Karzai, who was here to attend the Raisina Dialogue, told The Hindu newspaper in an interview that “all Afghans have suffered over the years of conflict, irrespective of religion”.
He categorically stated that “Afghanistan has no persecuted minorities”.
His remarks carry significance in the light of the fact that CAA grants citizenship to all non-Muslims facing persecution on the basis of religion in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Karzai said in the interview, “(The CAA) was India’s decision, and they may have had reasons for it and the law brought to Parliament. We don’t have persecuted minorities in Afghanistan…the whole 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”.
Explaining how the Afghans view the religious minorities in their country, he gave the example of a school principal when he (Karzai) was the President. He said, “The feeling in Afghanistan is very different to what the perception here in India may be. When I became President, the Principal of a school, in his 90s, whom I had known for many years, came to see me. As he left, he said, ‘I have only one request: Our Hindus and Sikhs have suffered a lot more (during the Taliban regime), and they deserve much more, so bring them back from wherever they have fled in Pakistan or India, and restore their properties”.
Karzai further said in the interview, “That is the sentiment in Afghanistan. I hope that sentiment would be reflected in India as well with regard to other Afghans, who are Muslims, as well”.
There are a huge number of Afghans, including Muslims, refugees living in different parts of the country. It is, however, not known how many of them have applied for citizenship in India. And if any Afghan Muslim has also applied for Indian citizenship.
Two days ago, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, in an interview to The Gulf News, had said that CAA was unnecessary. She had stated that she could not understand why did the Government of India brought such a law. She had also said that there was no religious persecution in Bangladesh and added that there were problems within India. After passage of the law, Bangladesh home minister and foreign minister cancelled their scheduled visits to India, though citing different reasons. The reports say that the conduct of Government of India since Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister in May 2014 has pushed Bangladesh closure to China which is not in national interest of India.
Indians in huge numbers, mostly Muslims, all over the country are protesting against the law for about a month seeking its immediate withdrawal on the ground that it is based on religious classification and discriminatory to Muslims. Indians in overseas countries are also protesting against the law, saying that the law ins unconstitutional and against secular and multi-cultural ethos of the country.