The government on Sunday announced that Hindus from Pakistan could have an easier time of getting Indian citizenship if a new proposal goes through, PTI reported. According to the agency, the proposal seeks to allow members of minority groups from Pakistan to buy property as well as get bank accounts, Permanent Account Number cards and Aadhaar cards if such people are on a long-stay visa in India.
Magistrates from 18 districts will get special powers for a period of two years to grant citizenship to these people, an official told the news agency, clarifying that it was still early days for the proposal. The citizenship fee might also be reduced from Rs 15,000 to just Rs 100.
The Centre believes this move will benefit Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Buddhists from Pakistan and even Bangladesh who have settled in India as refugees owing to religious persecution.