Modi-Shah strike at critique, GOI to revoke Aatish Taseer’s Overseas Citizen of India card

MHA claims Aatish Taseer attempted to “conceal information” that his father was of Pakistani origin


Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times

If there is one word that this Regime will be remembered for is its vindictive style of functioning. Be it the PMO or other key ministries, dissenters and critiques of the prime minister or home minister are not spared. In keeping with this well-established trend evident since 2014 but which has become sharper come May 2019, the Home Ministry claims AatishTaseer attempted to “conceal information” that his father was of Pakistani origin.

In a controversial move, the government announced that it will revoke the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card given to well known journalist and author AatishTaseer over what it claimed was his attempt to “conceal information” that his father, Salman Taseer, was of Pakistani origin. In an official statement, which Aatish Taseer vehemently denied, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that he had “failed to dispute the notice” it had sent asking him to explain the lapse.

In May 2019, AatishTaseer, had authored the cover story for TIME magazine that featured Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister as the “Divider of India”


“Mr.Taseer was given the opportunity to submit his reply/objections regarding his PIO/OCI cards, but he failed to dispute the notice,” the Home Ministry said in its statement on November 7 night. “Thus, Aatish Ali Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card as per the Citizenship Act, 1955. He has clearly not complied with very basic requirements and hidden information,” it added.




The August 13, 2019 notice from the MHA to Aatish Taseer was accessed by The Hindu. The notice stated that Aatish Taseer had committed the error of not disclosing that his father, the former Governor of Punjab was of Pakistani origin and had only provided details of his mother, senior journalist, Tavleen Singh.

In his reply dated September 6 to the August 13 notice, and a subsequent notice dated September 3, Aatish Taseer had explained in detail that his parents had never been legally married, and his mother was his sole legal guardian. They had a relationship, Aatish Taseer said  when they were both resident in the United Kingdom and Salman Taseer was a UK citizen and passport holder. This has been stated accurately, Aatish Taseer replied when sent a response to the Indian Consulate in New York, which was acknowledged by Deputy Consul-General Shatrughna Sinha.

It was in the year 2000 that Aatish Taseer has first received the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card which was later converted into an OCI Card. The NDA I government under Atal Behari Vajpayee was in power at the time! Aatish Taseer who grew up in Delhi and studied at the Kodaikanal International school in Tamil Nadu now lives in New York.

In his application, Aatish had referred to his mother as an Indian national and his father, Salman Taseer, as a “British national” to the best of my knowledge. His father, Salman Taseer was assassinated in Pakistan in 2011. Aatish Taseer and his father had been mostly estranged as was documented in Aatish Taseer’s autobiographical work Stranger to History: A son’s journey that was published in 2007.



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