Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Sunday attacked the Central government for conferring the Padma Shri on Pakistan-origin singer Adnan Sami, who became an Indian citizen in 2016. Addressing "Save the Constitution, Save the Country" rally Indore, Singh said Sami's father had "pounded India with bombs" when he was serving with the Pakistani Air Force (PAF).
"Since Sami is an artist who has come from Pakistan, I had recommended his case to the Indian government for citizenship. He has got Indian citizenship under the Modi government," the Congress leader said, adding that he never made any recommendation to the government for conferring Padma Shri on Sami.
He said Sami's father had "dropped bombs against us" while flying a Pakistan Air Force combat plane. "In contrast, Indian Army officer Sanaullah of Assam, who had fought against the enemy, was sent to a detention camp for failing to show documents (during the Assam NRC exercise).
This is in contrast to Singh's January 26 statement when he had congratulated Sami on being bestowed the Padma Shri award. Singh had then claimed that he had himself requested the Centre to grant him Indian citizenship. According to Singh, Sami’s case indicated that the government always had the right to give citizenship to any person irrespective of religion. Thereafter, he alleged that the sole purpose of the CAA was to create polarization in the Indian polity.
The Lahore-born Sami originally arrived in India on March 13, 2001, on a visitor’s visa. Thereafter, his visa was extended from time to time. However, he was forced to apply for citizenship after the Pakistan government did not renew his passport that had expired on May 26, 2015. Sami became an Indian citizen from January 1, 2016, under the ‘citizenship by naturalisation’ category of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
(with PTI inputs)