The Indian government awarded citizenship to 114 Pakistanis on July 21.
Several Hindus left their homes in Pakistan to migrate to India following terrorism in the country. 114 of them have been awarded citizenship and will receive their citizenship certificates today. Some of the families who moved out of Pakistan said that the primary reason for them to leave the country was the high crime rate in Pakistan.
Nandlal Meghani, a resident of Ghatlodia, said,
I along with my wife and daughter came to India 16 years ago from Sindh in Pakistan. We sold our home and business to make a new start here in India. We were impressed with the common man’s life here as soon as we arrived and applied for the Indian citizenship. The main reason to opt for Indian citizenship was the high crime rate in Pakistan. Even our Muslim friends back in Pakistan encouraged us to shift to India, looking at widespread terrorism there.
Meghani was an auto parts dealer in Pakistan and has now gotten into the home furnishing business. His sons run medical stores.
Another immigrant, Kishanlal Andani, who came to India in 2005 and is now an Indian citizen, commented,
I had migrated to India in 2005 with my wife and four sons. My sons will arrive tomorrow and we plan to apply for Indian citizenship for our daughter-in-laws as well. I often think about the place I left behind and my friends there. However, the menace of terrorism had made it difficult for us to survive. When we ventured out every day, we remained unsure whether we would return home in the evening. My Muslim friends there stood by me when riots broke out over the issue of a local temple and mosque. They offered me protection during the most critical time of our lives.
Andani owned a general store in Tharpakar town in Sindh province in Pakistan, has now started afresh by starting a utensils shop in Gujarat.
Dr Vishandas Mankani, a resident of Sola Road, who came to India on a visitor’s visa in 2001, commended the government on development and safety. He said,
I and my wife got citizenship in 2016. Now my children have also got it. We are impressed with development in India, which is absent in Pakistan. Safety is also something one can vouch for in India.
As per the Citizenship Act 1955, District Collectors have been authorized to examine applications seeking Indian citizenship and take the final decision. The Ahmedabad collector’s office is looking into another 216 applications and will reveal the decision soon.