Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he will consult all the political parties before taking a final decision on his recently made promised to grant citizenships to Afghan and Bengali families living in the country for many decades.

The prime minister, in his first official visit to Karachi over on Sunday, had vowed to end the Afghan and Bengali refugees' plight by issuing them passports and national identity cards.

The PM's promise, which came as a surprise for many, drew mixed reactions from opposition parties, some of which also expressed their reservations.

Editorial: Citizenship promise

Prior to Finance Minister's budget speech today, PM Khan also addressed the parliament when he reiterated the sufferings of the refugees, who he said have a right to citizenship.

"Every child that is born in a country has the right to citizenship," he said during his speech in the National Assembly today. "This law is present all over the world and is a matter of human sympathy.

"Bengali refugees have been living in Pakistan for a long time. We can neither throw them out of the country nor are they citizens. If they do not get registered, they will be disappointed. We are giving citizenship to Afghan and Bengali children on humanitarian grounds."

However, he assured the opposition parties that any policymaking on the matter will not be done without taking them into confidence.

"The refugees are also human beings and if we do not take a decision on this, there will be severe problems in the society," warned the prime minister. "It will be better if the opposition gives us advice on this matter."

Opinion

Karachi diary

Karachi diary

If govts could focus a bit more on infrastructure and transportation, the heart of Pakistan would be able to pump a lot more life and activity.

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