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Dual citizenship law by end of 2003: Advani

H S Rao in London | June 16, 2003 10:14 IST

The Dual Citizenship Bill currently before the Standing Committee of Parliament will become a law by the end of this year, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani said in London on Sunday night.

Replying to a largely attended reception in his honour hosted by the Indian High Commissioner Ronen Sen at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Advani said he had the privilege to pilot the Bill in the Lok Sabha. 

The reception was attended among others by Lord Swraj Paul, ambassador for overseas British business, Lord Navnit Dholakia, president of the Liberal Democrats, Piara Singh Khabra, Lord King and film producer Shekhar Kapur.

Referring to his week-long visit to the United States at the invitation of American Vice-President Dick Cheney, Advani said during his visit to Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, he met a large number of NRIs, who were willing to invest in India.

He said there was vast potential for India's growth but what was lacking was a 'proper work culture'.

Prior to independence, he said, politics was not a profession. "It was a mission. People like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Lokmanya Tilak gave up lucrative practices to join the freedom movement."

"In UK politics is a profession and for a profession there has to be professionalism and integrity. In India, politics is now neither a mission nor a profession. It has become commerce," Advani said.

But despite the shortcomings, he said India has made considerable progress. "The 21st century will be India's century just as the 20th century was that of the west, particularly the UK, USA and Japan," he said.

Referring to terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Advani said the fact that Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the state was regrettable and such an event elsewhere in the West would have become a major issue.

He said Pakistan had assured India that it would not allow its soil to be used for export of terror but it was not fulfilled. "Not much change has happened in Pakistan's attitude and whatever changes have taken place, they are because of India's persistent pressure," he said.

He claimed during the last five years the present government has succeeded in finding out and busting more than 175 Inter-Services Intelligence dens within the country.

Earlier Pakistan said there was no terrorism and what was happening in Jammu and Kashmir was 'pure and simple freedom struggle'. "Now they (Pakistan) say we are not responsible for the extremist killings," he said.

Advani said Pakistan wanted the two countries to resume sports ties. "But how can the two countries play hockey when the killings of innocent people go on?" he asked.

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