Tribune News Service
Qadian, December 12
The passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will not have any impact on the around 6,000-strong Ahmadiya community here in Punjab as all of them have already been granted Indian citizenship.
About a dozen cases of women, who recently got married after migrating from Pakistan, are pending with the Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner’s office. No Ahmadiya leader agreed to speak on record, but sources said the pending cases didn’t come under the new law’s jurisdiction. Founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed in 1889, the community is a sect of Islam with influence across the world.
Ahmadiyas have been facing persecution in Pakistan for the past several decades and aren’t treated as Muslims anymore by the neighbouring nation.
Pakistani Muslims claim the Ahmadiya founder used to compare himself to Prophet Muhammad, which was “blasphemous and hence the persecution”.
“These days, we are preparing for the annual convention — Jalsa Salaana — to be held here from December 27-29. The CAB is not an issue here. We are Indian citizens and have documents to prove it,” maintained a local leader.
Despite the CAB not being made an issue by the community, there are some voices of dissent. “The Union Government’s claim that the citizenship law aims to protect religious minorities rings hollow by excluding Ahmadiyas from Pakistan and Rohingyas from Myanmar. The Bill uses the language of refuge and sanctuary, but discriminates on religious grounds in violation of international law,” averred a leader. The community also has a Nobel Prize winner in Abdus Salam.