The new government has tried to take some bold moves in order to change decades old, obsolete practices in the country. While some resonated surprisingly well with the public, others received major retaliation from the masses. Remember Atif Mian‘s appointment and how controversial it was?
PTI has now come into action with a new agenda: establishing the grounds for nationality for Pakistan-born Bengalis and Afghans.
In an unprecedented move, PM Imran Khan has announced that Bengalis born in Pakistan will be given Pakistani citizenship. This is extraordinary on so many levels.
— Maria Memon (@Maria_Memon) September 16, 2018
Much to everyone’s surprise, there is a specific law regarding the matter since decades but has remained ignored.
#PMImranKhan Sec 4 of #CitizenshipAct allows citizenship by birth whether Afghan or Bengali by descent. This law has existed since 1951 but millions have been denied their rights. You need to ensure implementation #Pakistan
— Ayesha Tammy Haq (@tammyhaq) September 16, 2018
Needless to say, the news has managed to gather a buck load of attention, with a lot of mixed responses from Pakistanis!
— Naveed Sheikh (@naveedsheik) September 16, 2018
Many have responded positively to the decision and are appreciating PM Imran Khan for the step.
Great move. I hope stranded Bihari in Bangladesh are also repatriated
— Sameer Khan (@SamKhan999) September 16, 2018
— Riaz Haq (@haqsmusings) September 16, 2018
Some people shared stories of their personal encounters with Bengal refugees to highlight the importance of the political stance.
April 2018, I was mentoring 10th class students of TCP Korangi Karachi.
I, to a student: What about further studies?
He: Sir no more studies becuase colleges require father CNIC & we Bangalies r disallowed to have CNICs
I: keep faith, IK is coming and he will fix.
And now this😍
— Muhammad Khan (@SocialIngineer) September 16, 2018
People were actually happy that Bengalis and Afghans residing in Pakistan will finally get to have their identity.
Absolutely brilliant step. I have been advocating it for ages. You would win afghanis over in one stroke
— Tees Maar Khan (@Dangaboos) September 16, 2018
While the decision, itself, might come off as a celebration to children belonging to refugee families, some Pakistanis are not as ecstatic.
Children of Bengalis & Afghan refugees to be given Pak citizenship: Imran Khan
Seems like we have learnt nothing in the past 70 years. Ethno/Religious militancy and subversive movements will continue to ravage the state for decades to come. This is disgraceful. #PMinKarachi
— Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) September 16, 2018
Many people definitely don’t support the decision for various economic and political reasons.
Wrong decision bangali never been in pak favour they prefer India if they illegally living they shud return to their country and Afghans too
— Khalid Masaud (@khalid_masaud) September 16, 2018
Wrong and not support and is against our national rules.we are already over populated then these Afghan national will add further problems
— Farhad Ali (@Allah6150) September 16, 2018
Economy itni hai koi nai aur yeh sahb unko Pakistani bnane pe tulay hain
— Zaroon JABAL (@zaroon_jabal) September 16, 2018
Saeed Ghani, of PPP, has also resented the decision and has his own reservations.
ہمیں پاکستانی بنگالیوں کی شناختی کارڈ کی مشکلات کو دور کرنے پر اعتراض نہیں.
غیر قانونی طور پر مقیم غیر ملکیوں کو شہریت دینے پر شدید اعتراض ہے انکی رجسٹریشن ہونی چاہیے,اگر وہ کام کررہےہیں تو اسکی اجازت دینے کا راستہ تلاش کرنا چاہئیے لیکن پاکستانی شہریت دینے سے مسائل پیدا ہونگے
— Senator Saeed Ghani (@SaeedGhani1) September 16, 2018
People were particularly angry about Afghan inclusion in the plan
I do not mind Bengalis but why passports for Afghanis born in this country? They are snakes/enemies of Pakistan.IK administration should be kicking them out of this country rather than handing out Pakistani passports to them. a very very bad decision, against national interest!
— dr jaidee (@Jaideerahmani) September 16, 2018
And also said to give citizenship to Afghanis 😏
Condemnable and this shudnt happen 😖
— Zaheer Abbas (@Abbas162Abbas) September 16, 2018
Okay with Bengalis.but afghani are a big NO.
— Dr Muhammad Zahid (@stiprox) September 16, 2018
And then there were people who were simply not impressed
This is required by law. Nothing extraordinary except that the Government of Pakistan will finally be implementing its own laws.https://t.co/xEZg7DAW5S
— Haider Imtiaz (@mhaiderimtiaz) September 16, 2018
If anyone is born in Pakistan, of course that person will be given a Pakistani Citizenship – bengali or Marathi or Konkani.
Sorry, what’s the “unprecedentedness” here?
— Sushmit (@sushmitsarkar) September 16, 2018
Do you think this was the right step? Is this a step forward in terms of national inclusion? Let us know what you think about PM Imran Khan’s decision.
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