Cut-off year provision in Citizenship Bill flayed

Kathmandu, November 25:

The Committee Against Abuse of Citizenship (CAAC) today resented the provision in the new citizenship draft, saying setting yet another cut-off year to settle the citizenship row was unfortunate.

Saying that the Bill has once again resorted to the system of setting a cut off date to award citizenship to left-out foreign nationals, the statement issued today has drawn the attention at how Nepal had done a similar exercise by setting December 18, 1961 as the cut-off year.

Claiming that the modus operandi had culminated in lakhs of foreign nationals landing citizenship status, the statement also said that India too had resorted to the same modus operandi by setting March 31, 1961 as the cut-off year.

Lamenting the possibility of foreign nationals possibly landing the citizenship status on the ground of birth following the provision of the latest cut-off date, statement signed by Member Secretary of CAAC, Sadhya Bahadur Bhandari further alleges that provision of birth has been adopted since foreigners cannot be expected to avail the citizenship papers on the ground of genealogy.

“There is no doubt that setting cut-off year time and again will render the things tough for the nation which awards citizenship papers. We have strong reservation concerning provision of awarding citizenship status based on birth,” the statement said.

It said that the provision is suicidal for a nation like Nepal which has borders with China and India. Moreover, it claimed that the sovereign existence of Nepal will be endangered. “Much can be achieved if we go by the malaria eradication record of 1958 and recent provision of awarding citizenship papers with mother, too, as guarantor. This paves the way open for citizenship papers on the ground of genealogy,”it said.

Moreover, it has called to introduce temporary work permit to foreign nationals who can be absorbed in private sector. Since non-resident Nepalis have been demanding permanent visas, the CAAC has reinforced the same, saying professional rights be guaranteed.