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900 Pakistanis to be given citizenship
January 02, 2005 20:11 IST
The Centre has delegated powers to Gujarat government to grant citizenship to nearly 900 migrants from Pakistan who have been residing in four districts of the state for the past several years.
A senior home department official told PTI on Sunday that 900 refugees living in Ahmedabad, Patan, Banaskantha and Kutch districts, mainly of Koli and Sindhi community and those who have lived for a minimum of five years in India would be given citizenship.
The applicants also have to give affidavits stating that they were giving up Pakistani citizenship and also had procured renunciation certificate, the official said.
A thorough study of all their background was also being done by the four district authorities, he added.
Government has started the process since last November and Naresh Maltani and his sister Anita, who had been living in Maniangar area of the city for the past two decades, were among those who were recently granted citizenship.
24-year-old Maltani, who could not mention his nationality till now, said he and his sister feel "completely at home" having got the most important citizenship certificate recently.
Hailing from a Sindhi business community, his father Thakoredas Maltani, a resident of Sakar in Sindh province of Pakistan, had left his homeland to settle in Ahmedabad for better prospects.
"Moreover, minors do not get renunciation certificate immediately so my children were brought to India and we kept on renewing their long-term visas", Thakoredas said.
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