Pakistani-born Indian Asif finally gets Indian citizenship

NEW DELHI: Pakistan-born Asif Karadia, who works as a manager at a restaurant in Mahim in Mumbai for the last 54 years, heaved a sigh of relief, as he will get the Indian citizenship.

The long legal battle of the 52-year-old as Karadia won a case in the Bombay High Court after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’s representative assured the court to grant citizenship to Asif within 10 days.

“Citizenship kayda bohot danger kayda hai, par bohot mazboot bhi hai. Aur mazboot hona bhi chahiye, nahi toh log illegally ghus jayengey desh mein (rules of citizenship are dangerous and strict. But they should be strict, as people will otherwise enter the country illegally),” Abbas said, laughing, as per reports published in The Indian Express.

77-year-old Asif’s father Abbas Karadia was born in Gujarat in 1945.

Abbas married a Mumbai-born Zaibunissa Jamalauddin, who had migrated to Pakistan with her family after Partition. Asif’s mother was in Pakistan at the time of his birth and could not return to India for around two years due to heightened tensions between the two countries in 1965.

He came moved to Mumbai as a two-year-old when his family migrated here but continued to hold a Pakistani passport.

He did not know anything until he applied for a passport and permission for Haj. His application was denied as his birthplace was marked as Karachi in his certificates.

“But when I applied for Haj, they told me I was a Pakistani and I will not get my Indian passport. I was asked to prove my nationality,” said Karadia adding, “Overall, I am happy and satisfied that I have got the Indian citizenship.”

Asif married a Mumbai woman, Shakera Sujar, in 1988 and the couple have blessed with three children. Except for Asif, everyone in his family is an Indian citizen.

And, after fighting a three-year-long legal battle in the country, Asif will finally get an Indian citizenship.