4,300 Hindu and Sikhs from Pakistan, Afghanistan get Indian citizenship

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NEW DELHI:

As a first step to granting Indian nationality to refugees from neighbouring countries, the BJP-led government has given citizenship to around 4300 Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan in one year, according to sources.

The refugees have been given citizenship on the initiative of Home Minister Rajnath Singh following BJP’s declared policy that India is a “natural home for persecuted Hindus” who will be welcome to seek refuge.

During his election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Pakistani and Bangladeshi Hindu refugees would be treated like any other Indian citizen.

There are around 200,000 Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan currently living in India.