In what could be called a new year’s gift, the Modi government has granted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami Indian citizenship, which will come into effect on January 1, 2016. The 42-year-old UK-born singer, who had applied for citizenship for a second time in March, 2015, after his first application was rejected two years back, has been staying in India on humanitarian grounds. On hearing the announcement, Sami said he was very happy and felt as if he had been “born again”.
“It’s been a long journey and I have come home,” he said. Sami’s passport had expired on May 26, 2015, but it was not renewed by the Pakistan government. Subsequently, he had approached the Ministry of Home Affairs with the request to legalise his stay in India on humanitarian grounds. The singer, who has been living in India for the last few years, was subsequently exempted from deportation proceedings under Section 3 of the Foreigners Act, 1946. As per the rules under section 3A of Foreigners Act, 1946 (31 of 1946), the government can exempt a foreign national from deportation proceedings if the case is necessary and expedient in public interest.
Reports in Pakistan media had suggested that Sami also applied for renunciation of his Pakistani citizenship, but was told in November that the documentation was incomplete. Renunciation of citizenship is necessary for Pakistan citizen who wants to adopt citizenship of another country. The reports also suggested the certificate was refused on the ground that he was being “disrespectful” to the documents.