Pakistani national from Mumbai becomes Indian citizen after 52 years

Pakistani national from Mumbai becomes Indian citizen after 52 years

Pakistani national Asif Abbas Karadia who lives in Mumbai finally becomes Indian citizen after fighting a long legal battle. The 52-year-old man works as a manager at a restaurant in Mahim and is fighting for the formal Indian citizenship for a long time.

On Monday, Bombay high court informed that the central government has decided to grant him citizenship. The decision was informed by Advocate Deepak Thakare who represented the central government. He told the bench of justice AS Oka and justice MS Sanklecha that Ministry of Home Affairs has granted Asif citizenship and a certificate of the same will be issued in ten days.

The story behind it is that the man’s father Abbas was born in Gujarat in 1945 and has married a Pakistani National who joined him in India after marriage but continued to hold a Pakistani passport. In 1967, she went to Karachi at her mother’s place for delivery and gave birth to Asif. After she returned to India with Asif, she gave up the Pakistani citizenship and passport and acquired the Indian ones.

As per Asif’s lawyer, the controversy surrounding her citizenship rose when he decided to go for Hajj Pilgrimage in 2012 and his first application for the Indian passport was rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs on the grounds that he was not an Indian citizen. Following which he applied for Indian citizenship at least seven times and eventually approached high court in 2016 after the authorities stopped even renewing his long term visa.

Although he was a Pakistani National in Karachi, Asif never felt important to acquire Indian citizenship. He lived in India on the strength of long term visas which were extended from time to time. He also got a ration card, voter’s identity card, a PAN, Aadhaar cards and continued to pay taxes, just like other salaried individuals.

Now, the Mumbai High Court has finally accepted Asif’s plea and granted him citizenship.

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