NEW DELHI, July 19 - External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said that the Centre has brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in an effort to give citizenship to the people from minority communities who were persecuted in the neighbouring countries.
Asserting that the citizenship Bill should be passed, the minister called for support from the MPs to pass the Bill.
Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha during the question hour, Swaraj said from time to time there have been reports of violence and harassment against the members of the minority communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. These include incidents of killing, persecution, intimidation, abduction, forced conversions, desecration and vandalisation of places of worship and attacks on their business establishments.
�These incidents are a matter of concern to the government. Concerns in the matter are regularly conveyed to the respective countries at bilateral level,� the minister said.
The Government of Bangladesh has made it clear that it considers attacks against the members of the minority community a serious matter and takes stern action against the perpetrators. The Government of Afghanistan has assured that it takes all possible steps to protect its citizens, including the religious minorities.
The issue of the continued poor condition and mistreatment of minority communities in Pakistan has been highlighted by India at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), she said.