Citizenship Bill to be ready today

Kathmandu, November 13:

The Parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) is finalising the Citizenship Laws Integration and Amendment Bill, 2006, tomorrow. The committee, which held an informal clause-wise discussion on the Bill today, could not reach a conclusion on the clauses that deal with issuing citizenship certificates in mothers’ names.

Ironically, all those who discussed making the new law for issuing citizenship certificates in mothers’ names in line with the declaration of the House of Representatives (HoR) were men —Home Minster Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Speaker Subas Nembang and the secretaries of the ministries of Home and Law, Umesh Mainali and Kul Ratna Bhurtel.

Sitaula and Nembang asked the MPs to propose appropriate clauses for replacing clause 4 of the Bill, which stipulates provision to issue citizenship certificate to children born to a Nepali woman married to a foreigner.

MPs Lila Mani Pokhrel and Narayan Man Bijukchhe proposed issuing citizenship certificates to only those children whose mothers are either widows or divorcees although they married foreigners but have not obtained any citizenship from other countries.

Bharat Mohon Adhikari and Ananda Dhungana said the provision has been introduced in the spirit of the HoR declaration.

MP Rajendra Mahato said citizenship should not be issued to those whose mother is a foreigner, but married to a Nepali man and living in foreign land for over 15 years.

SAC chairman Hirdaya Ram Thani confirmed:

“We will finalise the Bill tomorrow.”