Monday, 18 January, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Curb Fake Citizenship



Citizenship is the membership card of a citizen granted by the state. It testifies the citizenship holder’s loyalty to the state. Upon obtaining the citizenship certificates, the people are entitled to all facilities ranging from education, health and employment opportunity to social security and rights to participate in the nation’s political process. Citizenship certificate does not only allow its possessors to enjoy the rights as specified in the constitution, but it also reminds them of duties towards the nation. As the active members of the state, citizens have their responsibility towards their motherland. They should stand for the sovereignty, security and well-being of the state. It is only genuine, sincere, conscious and patriotic citizens who can contribute and sacrifice for the country and people. Disloyal and selfish people run away from their duty when they are asked to support and sacrifice for the nation at the moment of crisis.

What happens if one obtains citizenship on the basis of fake documents and makes it to high public offices? Can such persons show their allegiance to the nation and work honestly? Obviously not. Those, who illegally obtain the Nepali citizenship certificates, can hardly serve the nation. In other words, they pose threat to national security because such people have wrong intention behind getting the citizenships via unlawful means. Those who aid and abet the phony people to acquire citizenship also do harm to the country. So both the parties deserve severe punishment as per the existing law. There is a disturbing news report regarding the distribution of fake citizenship certificates in different parts of the country.

According to the news report of this daily, elected representatives have been found to be involved in illegally distributing citizenship papers to pseudo citizens. Ward chairman Dhruba Bahadur KC of Baglung Municipality-4 and other officials are on the run after the police issued arrest warrant against them for recommending a person to illegally obtain Nepali citizenship certificate. They have assisted in preparing fake documents and forging evidence of relations to help an individual acquire a Nepali citizenship. The problem is more serious in the districts bordering India. Many Indian people set up false relatives and relationships here to get Nepali citizenship certificates. The police investigation shows that they submit forged documents such as educational certificates and recommendation letters from the local bodies in collusion with the government employees to get Nepali citizenship on the basis of descent.

Nepal Police has registered altogether 252 cases of fake citizenship in the last three years. Province 2 has seen the highest number of such cases (90) followed by Lumbini (75) and Province 1 with 64. The Kathmandu Valley has 20 such cases. The news report has disclosed that Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani Muslims and Tibetan refugees have been trying to settle in Nepal for the past few years with fake citizenship certificates. Experts warn that fake citizenship holders pose a security threat to the country. In the Terai belt, Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani citizens apply for Nepali citizenship with false documents. Nepal and India have open and unregulated border, which can be abused by malevolent elements. Therefore, the government needs to plug the administrative loopholes so that no one can illegally acquire Nepali citizenship certificates.  

How do you feel after reading this news?