Attack on Pakistan's Nankana Sahib Justifies Citizenship Amendment Act, Says BJP
There have been thousands of incidents in Pakistan where young girls were picked up, forcibly converted and married off to Muslim boys, while the police, the government and other agencies are part and parcel of the process, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi alleged.
File photo of Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. (Image: Reuters)
New Delhi: Condemning the attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the BJP on Saturday said the incident justifies amendments made to the Citizenship Act to protect minorities in three neighbouring countries, and stressed on the need for its immediate implementation.
Addressing a press conference here with BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, party MP Meenakshi Lekhi claimed there have been consistent acts of violence on religious places in Pakistan and minorities have been subjected to threats of "civil conversions", rapes and violence for decades.
There have been thousands of incidents in Pakistan where young girls were picked up, forcibly converted and married off to Muslim boys, while the police, the government and other agencies are part and parcel of the process, Lekhi alleged.
"The Nankana incident shows how minorities are being persecuted there," she said.
"Persecution continues unabated since the creation of Pakistan, resulting in forced migration of such persecuted minorities into India. This not only justifies the necessity of an act like the CAA but also stresses on the need for its immediate implementation. Pakistan now proves that CAA is right and timely," Lekhi said.
Nankana Sahib is the holiest shrine for Sikhs across the globe as Guru Nanak Dev was born there, the MP said, adding attacks on the shrine were equivalent to someone attacking Kaaba or Jerusalem.
"Pakistan and the society must know that Pakistani Sikhs are the offsprings of that soil and continue to have faith and duty towards that soil and thus, did not migrate and chose to remain there.
"They have even threatened to change the name of Nankana Sahib to Ghulam-e-Mustafa. The fact is in the 21st century, this is the condition in Pakistan," she said.
Claiming that the population of minorities in Pakistan has been reducing consistently, Chugh said the incident should open the eyes of Congress leaders, other opposition parties and "urban Naxals" who have been opposing the CAA.
Referring to the Kerala Assembly recently passing a resolution demanding scrapping of CAA, he also questioned the silence of the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the Nankana incident.
In a snide remark, Lekhi said, "I don't know where Sidhu paaji has fled. Somebody should find out where Navjot Singh Sidhu is. If, even after all this, he wants to hug the ISI chief, then Congress should look into it."
Chug also thanked the Ministry of External Affairs for asking the neighbouring country to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of the Sikh community there.
"We ask the Pakistan government to take immediate measures to protect the life, property and dignity of the Sikh community in Nankana Sahib and also of other minority communities across Pakistan," he said.
Over the Congress opposing the CAA, Lekhi accused it of not doing anything for the persecuted minorities despite the party being in power for a longer period than the BJP.
"It is time for them to introspect. When they were in power they never did anything for the persecuted ones and they now try to bring the oppressor and oppressed class on the same pedestal which nobody does anywhere in the world," she said.
When asked if the cut-off date of December 31, 2014, as mentioned in the CAA would be revised, Lekhi said those who have been living in the country for several years should be legalised so that they get equal right.
"They were treated as illegal residents... when our government came into power in 2014 it decided that at least those who are already in the country should get equal rights and whatever happens subsequently will be dealt accordingly," she said.
Lekhi also became involved in a spat with Pakistani minister Fawad Chaudhry over the attack, when the latter took to Twitter to term her allegation of persecution of minorities in his country "fake propaganda".
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