European Parliament to debate, vote on anti-CAA resolution, Kashmir; claims 'dangerous shift' in India's citizenship regime

  • The European Parliament is set to debate and vote on a resolution tabled by some of its members against India's Citizenship Amendment Act, which it says marks a dangerous shift in the country's citizenship regime

  • The resolution, tabled by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group in the Parliament earlier this week, is set to be debated 29 January and voted on 30 January

  • 'The CAA marks a dangerous shift in the way citizenship will be determined in India and is set to create the largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause immense human suffering,' it notes

The European Parliament is set to debate and vote on a resolution tabled by some of its members against India's Citizenship Amendment Act, which it says marks a dangerous shift in the country's citizenship regime. The resolution was tabled together by five groupings comprising of 559 members in the 751-member European Parliament. The government is bracing for six scathing resolutions on CAA and also includes Jammu and Kashmir as per a report in The Hindu.

The resolution, tabled by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group in the Parliament earlier this week, is set to be debated 29 January and voted on 30 January. A separate grouping, which represents 66 Members of European Parliament (MEPs), has moved a sixth resolution that supports the Act but calls for an impartial probe into “excessive use of force by security forces” against anti-CAA protesters, reports the Indian Express.

It makes a reference to the Charter of the United Nations, Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as well as the India-EU Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan signed in November 2005, and to the EU-India Thematic Dialogue on Human Rights as it urges the Indian authorities to "engage constructively" with those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and consider their demands to repeal the "discriminatory CAA".

"The CAA marks a dangerous shift in the way citizenship will be determined in India and is set to create the largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause immense human suffering," it notes.

"Instead of addressing the concerns, offering corrective action, calling for security forces to act with restraint and ensuring accountability, many government leaders have been engaging in efforts to discredit, rebuke and threaten the protesters," the resolution states.

This move comes less than two months before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to travel to Brussels for the India-EU summit on 13 March and can impact the way EU member-nations engage with India, and amid Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, claiming that India might attempt to raise tensions at the border in order to divert attention from domestic protests against the new citizenship law and Kashmir issue, according to Dawn newspaper.

Imran who has been trying to internationalise the CAA and Kashmir, recently targetted the Modi government over the CAA, calling the administration "fascist and racist".

Imran after meeting with US president Donald Trump at Davos, urged the international powers, including the UN and the US, to help de-escalate tensions with India, saying they "must act" to prevent the two nuclear-armed countries from reaching a point of no return. "You cannot have two nuclear-armed countries even contemplating a conflict," Imran said while speaking during an interview with the International Media Council on the sidelines of the WEF annual meeting in Davos.

Imran  also demanded that UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) be allowed along the Line of Control, the paper said.  He said that he "came across a brick wall" when he reached out to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi after assuming office in 2018, and the situation deteriorated after India carried out air strike in Balakot targeting Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp following the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel.

But "things went from bad to worse" when India abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August last year, he said. "I just think that the path which India is going [on] is a disaster for India," Khan was quoted as saying by the paper.

 

 European Parliament to debate, vote on anti-CAA resolution, Kashmir; claims dangerous shift in Indias citizenship regime

College students participate in a protest rally against CAA, NRC and NPR, in Kolkata. PTI

The CAA came into force in India last December amid protests in India and around the world.

The government had stressed that the new Act does not deny any citizenship rights but has been brought in to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring countries and provide them with citizenship.

The EU resolution sets out that since the May 2019 election, the government of India has reinforced its nationalistic orientation as it also makes a reference to the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, which removed the special constitutional status of the region.

The draft resolution, which falls under the category of Resolutions on topical subjects, expresses deep concern that India has created the legal grounds to strip millions of Muslims of the fundamental right of equal access to citizenship and that the CAA could be used, along with the National Register of Citizens, to render many Muslim citizens stateless.

It seeks to remind the Indian government of its obligations under the 1992 UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, which establishes the obligation of countries to protect the existence and identity of religious minorities within their territories and to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that this is achieved.

Such a resolution, which has been characterised under the Relations with Asian countries section by the economic bloc, are used as a basis for engagement of EU member countries with specific nations.

If it is passed next week, it will be formally sent to the Indian government and Parliament as well as to the European Commission chiefs.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 27, 2020 21:38:00 IST