India should treat all Afghans equally, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said, taking exception to the stipulation in the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, that only Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from that country would be eligible for fast-tracked naturalisation in India.
“We don’t have persecuted minorities in Afghanistan… the whole country is persecuted. We have been in war and conflict for a long time. All religions in Afghanistan — Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs — which are our three main religions, have suffered,” Mr. Karzai said. He was speaking exclusively to Indian media The Hindu, during a visit to Delhi where he addressed the inaugural session of the government’s Raisina Dialogue.
Mr. Karzai said he hoped the sentiment that minorities must be protected “would be reflected in India with regard to other Afghans, who are Muslim, as well.”
Mr. Karzai’s comments, differing from New Delhi’s view are significant, given that he has been seen as a strong friend of India. Like many Afghan leaders, Mr. Karzai has also lived in India for several years beginning in 1976, and has studied in Shimla.
In December, the MEA had clarified that the CAA referred to past attacks against minorities in Afghanistan and that the current government had “substantially addressed the concerns of the minority communities as per their constitutional provisions.”
 
 

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