‘Factually inaccurate’: India rebuts Malaysian PM’s remark on citizenship law

Talking to reporters on the margins of the Kuala Lumpur Summit, Mahathir questioned the “necessity” of the CAA when people of different faiths have “lived together for 70 years” in India.
S Jaishankar
India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar

The External Affairs Ministry on Friday termed as “factually incorrect” remarks reportedly made by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s that India is taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship.

The ministry also said Malaysia should refrain from commenting on the internal developments of India, especially without a right understanding of the facts.

After visiting the media centre at the Kuala Lumpur Summit on Friday, Mr. Mohamad had reportedly said,”I am sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, is now taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship.”

Read: ‘People dying’: Malaysia’s Mahathir slams India’s citizenship law

“If we do that here, you know what will happen. There will be chaos, there will be instability and everyone will suffer,” he said.

Responding to Mr. Mohamad’s reported remarks, the ministry in a statement said, “According to media reports, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has yet again remarked on a matter that is entirely internal to India.”

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides for citizenship through naturalization to be fast-tracked for non-citizens who are persecuted minorities from three countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan),” it said.

The ministry said the Act does not impact in any manner on the status of any citizen of India, or deprive any Indian of any faith of her or his citizenship.

“Therefore, the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s comment is factually inaccurate. We call upon Malaysia to refrain from commenting on internal developments in India, especially without a right understanding of the facts,” it said.

On September 29, Mohamad had raised the Kashmir issue at the UN, alleging that India has “invaded and occupied” Jammu and Kashmir and asking New Delhi to work with Pakistan to resolve the issue.

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