Alwaght- The European Parliament is expected to vote on a motion tabled by a large chunk of its members against India’s provocative citizenship law, which they say it could "create the largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause immense human suffering." The five-page resolution that will be presented during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels next week also rebukes the New Delhi's unilateral changes to the status of Kashmir which removed the special constitutional status of the Muslim-populated region.
A total of six resolutions have been tabled by 150 European Union lawmakers who describes the so-called Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as discriminatory and dangerously divisive as well as a violation of India’s international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The European lawmakers blamed the Indian government for "discriminating, harassing, and prosecuting national and religious minorities and silencing opposition, human rights groups... and journalists critical of the government."
The draft under the "Relations with Asian countries" section advises the Indian authorities to "engage constructively" with the anti-CAA protesters and consider their demand of withdrawing the Citizenship law. It not only expresses "deep concern" about CAA creating legal grounds to deprive millions of Muslims of their fundamental right of equal access to citizenship.
"CAA could be used, along with the National Register of Citizens, to render many Muslim citizens stateless," the resolution added.
According to CAA, six minorities including Jain, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Parsis, and Buddhists from three neighboring countries Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are eligible to get citizenship of India if they have lived for six years in the country. These lists exclude Muslim immigrants who have entered the country the same way as other non-Muslims immigrants. This bill amends the citizenship acts of 1995. It is the first time that India has used religion as a legal basis for determining nationality.
Europeans concerned over Kashmir
The resolution also "condemns the unilateral changes made to the status of Kashmir by India; asks both sides to implement the recommendations of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report on Kashmir". The MEPs also criticized the security shutdown and detentions in the Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Recently, the European Parliament stood up for the people of Kashmir as was tweeted by the Government of Pakistan, “Members of European Parliament called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations.”
Jammu and Kashmir region is now much like a military zone as all of its parts are strictly controlled by the Indian troops.
Three months ago, the Indian government stripped Kashmir of its autonomy, in place since the 1940s. India’s Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah said that it was a government decision and the next step will be altering the article 370 of the constitution that facilitates the autonomy of Kashmir. By revoking this article, Kashmir will lose its privileges for independently having a premier and parliament.
Almost all of Kashmiris protested the move, but a heavy military deployment does not allow for gatherings. The government has lately dispatched 10,000 new troops and throttled phone and internet services there.
After Indian independence and separation of Pakistan, the two countries struggled over Kashmir, fighting several wars. A line of control now separates India from Pakistan in Kashmir which through all years of war and tensions managed to save its autonomy.