Geneva: Amid the ongoing protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that millions of Muslims could flee India due to the curfew imposed in the territory of Kashmir and the new citizenship law, creating ‘a refugee crisis that would dwarf other crises’, news agency Reuters reported. While speaking at the Global Forum on Refugees in Geneva, Pakistan PM said, “We are worried there not only could be a refugee crisis, we are worried it could lead to a conflict between two nuclear-armed countries.”
“Our country will not be able to accommodate more refugees,” Khan said, urging the world to ‘step in now’.
Khan, during his speech, also mentioned three actions of the Indian government – the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the National Register of Citizens exercise in Assam, and the Citizenship Amendment Act.
“We are worried there not only could be a refugee crisis, we are worried it could lead to a conflict between two nuclear-armed countries,” The Express Tribune quoted Khan as saying.
This is not for the first time, Pakistan government has intervened in policies and decisions pertaining to Indian borders. India on Tuesday reprimanded Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for making “gratuitous and unwarranted remarks” on internal affairs of India at multilateral platforms.
In response to a query on the statement made by Khan, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again peddled familiar falsehoods at a multilateral platform to advance his narrow political agenda by making gratuitous and unwarranted remarks on matters entirely internal to India. It should now be clear to the entire world that this is an established pattern of his habitual and compulsive abuse of global forums.”
The spokesperson said that it has been the “unfortunate experience of most of Pakistan’s neighbours that its actions have had adverse consequences next door.”
Kumar said the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, for the last 72 years, has systematically persecuted all its minorities, forcing most of them to flee to India. Khan, he added, “wishes the world forgets what his Army did in 1971 to the people of the erstwhile East Pakistan.” Pakistan must act to protect and promote the rights of its own minorities and co-religionists, he said.
“Pakistan would do well to remember that India is the world’s largest democracy, that all its governments have been freely and fairly elected through universal adult franchise, and that all Indians irrespective of faith enjoy equal rights under the Constitution. We urge Pakistan to similarly aspire to these ideals,” the statement said.
The government went on to explain once again that the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 does not deprive anyone from his or her citizenship in India but grants citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from select foreign countries.
(With inputs from agencies)
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