Anti-CAA remarks insensitive and ill-informed: Government.
New Delhi: India on Saturday summoned the Malaysian Charge d’Affaires in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over remarks made on Friday by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). New Delhi conveyed that “such remarks are neither in keeping with accepted diplomatic practice of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, nor with the state of our bilateral relations” and that “such remarks are both ill-informed and insensitive”. India also asked Malaysia “to take a long-term and strategic view of the bilateral relations”.
The Malaysian Prime Minister had once again stirred up a new row with India on Friday in comments on the CAA by saying that New Delhi is trying to “deprive some Muslims of their citizenship”.
On Saturday, government sources said, “The Malaysian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) today, in order to lodge a solemn protest over the remarks made by the Malaysian PM in Kuala Lumpur today at the press briefing. It was conveyed that such remarks are neither in keeping with accepted diplomatic practice of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, nor with the state of our bilateral relations. It was also conveyed that such remarks are both ill-informed and insensitive. Malaysia was asked to take a long-term and strategic view of the bilateral relations.”
The Malaysian PM was quoted by global news reports as saying on Friday, “People are dying because of this law (CAA). Why is there a necessity to do this when all the while, for 70 years, they have lived together as citizens without any problem? I am sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, now is taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship. If we do that here, I do not know what will happen. There will be chaos and instability, and everybody will suffer.”
India had on Friday evening too slammed the Malaysian Prime Minister’s remarks as “factually inaccurate” and had “called upon Malaysia to refrain from commenting on internal developments in India, especially without a right understanding of the facts”.
In a statement on Friday, India had said, “According to media reports, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has yet again remarked on a matter that is entirely internal to India. The Citizenship Amendment Act provides for citizenship through naturalisation to be fast-tracked for non-citizens who are persecuted minorities from three countries. The Act does not impact in any manner on the status of any citizen of India, or deprive any Indian of any faith of her or his citizenship. Therefore, the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s comment is factually inaccurate. We call upon Malaysia to refrain from commenting on internal developments in India, especially without a right understanding of the facts.”
The Malaysian PM had a few months ago too made adverse comments on the Kashmir issue, thereby angering India which had then lodged a protest with Kuala Lumpur. But the row between the two countries seems to be dragging on due to the 94 year-old Malaysian leader’s comments constantly criticising India.