Clarifying the reason for revoking New York-based journalist Aatish Ali Taseer's Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, the Home Ministry stated that Taseer while submitting his Person of Indian origin (PIO) application had concealed his father's Pakistani origin. The Ministry added that Taseer had not disputed the notice issued by the Centre revoking his OCI card. Taseer has ineligible to hold an OCI card, as per the Citizenship Act, 1955, stated the Ministry. The Home Ministry also dismissed reports speculating other reasons behind the move.
Mr. Aatish Ali Taseer, while submitting his PIO application, concealed the fact that his late father was of Pakistani origin.— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) November 7, 2019
Thus, Mr. Aatish Ali Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card, as per the Citizenship Act, 1955. He has clearly not complied with very basic requirements and hidden information.— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) November 7, 2019
Earlier in the day, reports had suggested that the government had served a notice to Taseer to revoke his Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card allegedly over the Centre's disapproval over Taseer's US-magazine article titling PM Modi as 'Divider-in-Chief'. Taseer is the son of veteran journalist Tavleen Singh and Pakistan's Punjab's former Governor late Salmaan Taseer. While he is born in London and raised in India, he mainly lived in Britain - holding a British passport.
According to the OCI website, OCI card-holders are allowed Multiple entries, multi-purpose life long visas to visit India. They also are exempted from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India. In parity with NRIs, they are entitled to the same rights in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
Earlier on May 9, Taseer had written the cover story for the US-based weekly news magazine which is a critique of India's current political scenario. While the article comments on the Modi wave which engulfed the nation in 2014, he had compared it the political scenario in 2019 , highlighting the 'heightened differences prevalent in India'. The article also comments on the lack of unity in the Opposition saying, "Modi is lucky to be blessed with so weak an opposition - a ragtag coalition of parties, led by the Congress, with no agenda other than to defeat him."