It will be an apt New Year’s gift for Pakistani singer Adnan Sami. Mr Sami can become an Indian citizen as soon as he completes the necessary paperwork. The Union Home Ministry cleared the proposal on Wednesday. Mr Sami, who has been staying in India since 2011, will have to fill a citizenship form at the Home Ministry’s office in Delhi and pay Rs 13,700, a senior government official explained.
The Hindu reported on October 24 that the decks had been cleared for Mr Sami’s Indian citizenship after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi gave a favourable opinion.
Mr Sami will be given citizenship under Section 6 (I) of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 under the category “citizenship by naturalisation.”
The power to grant citizenship lies only with the Home Ministry and Mr Sami will have to go to the Foreigners Division Office located on Jai Singh Road, near Connaught Place to complete the paperwork.
“There is a fee for every process and for acquiring citizenship it is Rs 13,700. He will have to sign the citizenship form as well and once the formality is done he will be provided the citizenship certificate,” said the official.
As of now, Mr Sami is on a three-month visa extension which was given to him on October 6 by the MHA. Mr Sami’s Pakistani passport issued on May 27, 2010 expired on May 26 this year and it was not renewed by the Pakistan government. He renounced his Pakistani citizenship then. Following this, Mr Sami approached the Home Ministry with the request to legalise his stay in India on humanitarian grounds.
Lahore-born Sami first arrived in India on March 13, 2001 on a visitor’s visa with a validity of one year. It was issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.