Imran Khan says millions of Muslims could flee India due to the lockdown in Kashmir and India’s new citizenship law.
Khan said the Indian government was planning to change the demography of Kashmir [Denis Balibouse/Reuters]
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said millions of Muslims living in India would be forced to leave as a result of India’s new citizenship law, and the ongoing curfew in Indian-administered Kashmir – creating what he termed “a refugee crisis that would dwarf other crises”.
Addressing the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on Tuesday, the Pakistani leader said his country would not be able to accommodate more refugees and urged the world to “step in now”.
“We in Pakistan are not just worried that there will be a refugee crisis. We are worried that this could lead to a conflict, a conflict between two nuclear-armed countries,” said Khan.
Why are so many Indians protesting against the citizenship law?
Last week, India passed a law, which was an amendment to 1955 legislation, allowing Indian citizenship to “persecuted” minorities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but makes no reference to Muslims.
Indian legal experts say the law violates the country’s secular constitution, while thousands of Muslims and civil society groups are protesting in the country, fearing the legislation could marginalise the country’s 200 million Muslims.