We briefed nations on CAA, says govt.

MEA spokesperson denies that foreign diplomats in India are unhappy with lack of communication

January 02, 2020 04:47 pm | Updated June 09, 2020 06:06 pm IST - New Delhi

Raveesh Kumar. File

Raveesh Kumar. File

The Union government pursued a rigorous “two-pronged” strategy on conveying its explanation on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) controversy in India, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday, stressing that the Act merely speeds up citizenship applications for communities mentioned in it and is not seeking to change the Indian Constitution.

Responding to reports that said foreign diplomats in India were unhappy with the lack of communication from the government on the issues that have set off protests in various parts of the country the MEA said the reports were “factually incorrect.”

“We did reach out to countries across regions, and wrote to all our missions and posts asking them to share our perspectives with host governments [on CAA and NRC],” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told presspersons, adding that this was done in addition to meeting with diplomats based in Delhi.

The government’s brief mentioned that the CAA was an internal process, which  did not seek to strip any community members of Indian citizenship. Nor did the CAA alter the basic structure of the Constitution, Mr. Kumar said. 

“We asked [embassies] to convey that the Act provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities already in India, from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It doesn’t affect existing avenues already available to other communities,” he added.

Call with Hasina

Mr. Kumar declined to comment on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed the issue with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when he greeted her on New Year’s day. 

A press release said that the two leaders had discussed how to further strengthen India-Bangladesh ties. Bangladesh Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam, who cancelled his visit to Delhi in December ostensibly over the passage of the CAA at the time, is expected to attend the Ministry’s annual Raisina Dialogue from January 14 to 16. Ten foreign ministers are attending the Dialogue, which will be addressed by Australian PM Scott Morrison.

The Ministry spokesperson said India had expressed strong concern to the Malaysian Charge d’affaires about what he called Malaysian PM Mahathir Muhammad’s “ill-advised and avoidable” comments on the CAA, and the government has spoken to other members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Dismissing reports that the OIC plans a special meet on Kashmir and CAA in Pakistan, he said they were “speculative” at present.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.