Immigration

About 300 Indians Granted Pakistani Citizenships in the Last Five Years

Amidst border tensions, Pakistan and India have granted a number of citizenships in the recent past.
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Almost 300 Indian emigrants have been granted Pakistani nationality during the last five years, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, Pakistan in response to a query during the ongoing session of the lower house of parliament last week.

“From 2012 till April 14, 2017, a total number of 298 Indian emigrants have been granted Pakistani citizenship,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement, reported The Express Tribune.

The statement was issued by the Ministry of Interior in response to a query by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker Sheikh Rohail Asghar in the National Assembly.

A Difficult Task

About 48 Indian emigrants were granted Pakistani nationality in 2012, which grew to 75 next year and 76 in 2014. In 2015, only 15 were given nationality while 69 got it in 2016, the statement said.

Pakistan is believed to be a country where getting nationality has always been a difficult task, but innumerable illegal immigrants from many countries, especially India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Burma, are living here, it added.

Humanitarian Grounds

In March last year, the much-talked about case of an Indian getting Pakistani nationality surfaced. Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan granted Pakistani citizenship to an Indian woman, whose husband died years ago. She had applied for the citizenship in 2008. She married a Pakistani man but after he passed away, her stepsons allegedly refused to give her a share in the inheritance.

Earlier this year, Nisar had also allowed repatriation of another woman on humanitarian grounds who was jailed in Indian Occupied Kashmir along with her young daughter since the last five years.

Indian Citizenship to Pak Nationals 

In a similar case, a Pakistani woman was granted Indian citizenship after a 13-year long wait, reported PTI.

In 2003, Tahira Hazoor who is from Faisalabad got married to the Indian Maqbool Ahmad, a resident of Qadian, in Punjab. She applied for Indian citizenship in March 2011 after completing the required seven-year stay in India. After a decade of waiting she got the citizenship last year.

More than 2,000 Pakistani nationals got Indian citizenship in last six years, the Union Home Ministry in India said in response to an online RTI application submitted by Jammu-based activist Raman Sharma.

Pakistanis Top the List

According to the reply, Pakistanis topped the list of foreign nationals acquiring Indian citizenship. Out of 5,477 foreigners, 2,157 were Pakistani nationals followed by 1,461 stateless people, reported Tribune India.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju informed Rajya Sabha that 65 Pakistani nationals, including Pakistani singer Adnan Sami who has been living in India for years, were given Indian citizenship in first two months of 2016. He added than in 2015, more than 260 Pakistanis were given Indian citizenship, NDTV reported.

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