PM seeks recommendations from NA over granting citizenship to immigrants

Premier says 'children born in Pakistan have the right to be called Pakistani'

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday sought recommendations from parliamentarians over the government's proposal to grant citizenship to all Afghan and Bengali children born in the country.

Taking to the floor of the House, the premier said, "A final decision has not yet been made in this regard and the proposal is up for discussion."

"Everyone should present their recommendations," he said while adding that the government will seek recommendations from all parliamentarians and consult them before taking a decision.

"I will keep asking this question that these people who are living here what is their future?" he said. "Children born in Pakistan have the right to be called Pakistani," the premier asserted. 

PM Imran asserted, "As per the 1951 law, all those born in the country have the right to its citizenship. This law is followed in various countries, including Europe."

"Several people have been living in Karachi for decades without any nationality," he lamented.

The premier said that the laws are different for temporary immigrants. "But those Bengalis who have been residing here for 45 to 50 years are being wasted. They are neither granted citizenship nor do they move back," he upheld.

Upholding that he is saying all this on the basis of humanity, PM Imran questioned, "If we do not take a decision on migrants then when will we?"

"Immigrants are also humans," PM Imran said. "If we do not take a decision regarding immigrants then we will have to face severe problems."

PM Imran further said that in accordance with international laws refugees cannot be forced to leave the country. "We will have to draft a police for immigrant children born in the country," he maintained.

"This is a human rights issue and at some point a decision will need to be made in this regard," he continued.

PM Imran further explained that the reason for rising street crime in Karachi is the increase in unemployment. "Immigrant children are not granted citizenship owing to which they are refused jobs and they cannot even go to school and this problem is about to enter all our societies," he upheld.