‘Experts’ raise voice against Citizenship bill

Kathmandu, September 19:

Experts today raised serious concern over the proposed draft of the citizenship bill tabled at the House of Representatives and demanded that it should be immediately scrapped. The experts claimed that Nepali people would be outnumbered by foreigners if the proposed bill

comes into effect.

“The draft of the citizenship bill must be scrapped immediately because this will ultimately outnumber Nepali people,” said Sadhya Bahadur Bhandari, leader of the Janamorcha Nepal.

While addressing an interaction programme on “Implications of the draft of the citizenship bill” organised by the Media Group Nepal Bhandari said the present House of Representatives (HoR) has no right to pass bill. He also termed the draft as “anti-nationalist”.

According to Bhandari, the bill if passed would bring dire consequences to the Nepali people because millions of foreigners living in Nepal from over 16 countries will claim citizenship. Citing the example of Fiji, he said that Nepali people would turn refugees in their own land if the proposed bill is passed.

Bhandari also claimed that the family members of minister Hridayesh Tripathi were involved in the encroachment of Nepal’s land at Susta.

“Even India has stopped providing citizenship to foreigners since 1961,” he said. Refuting the claim of Madhesi people he said that only 1.6 million people are deprived of citizenship certificate. “This bill would not solve the citizenship problems of the ethnic minorities of Nepal.” Advocate Borna Bahadur Karki said the draft of the bill is insignificant at a time when the nation is passing through transitional phase. He claimed that the MPs are on wrong track and this would lead the nation towards more complex situation. He expressed fear that the bill, if passed, could also end the identity of nation and suggested that the government should adopt stern policy regarding the sensitive issue of citizenship. “If we cannot check this on time it would be a unfortunate for the nation,” he said.

Expert on border issues Chetendra Jung Himali said the bill would put Nepal’s existence in danger. He said the people should began campaign against the draft of the citizenship bill. He also said they have formed a committee to oppose misuse of citizenship.

The committee had suggested the government to adopt Green Card system for the foreigners living in Nepal like the developed countries.