Short Essay on Aliens and Citizens

Logically, it follows that if an alien has no rights, he owes no duties to the State in which he resides. He enjoys civil rights or most of them, obeys the laws of the State and pays all the taxes which the State may impose under law, but he owes no duties to that State.

Some States, like the former Union of South Africa, subject aliens to various kinds of disabilities and may even debar them from owning property. In the United States, Canada and Australia, their Immigration Laws regulate the entry of the people of Asiatic origin. Though not quite similar, Britain, too, has recently regulated by law the entry of Indians and the people of some other countries and the rules made there under are unethical and humiliating.

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In Pakistan, the Ordinance promulgated in 1984 declared the Ahamediya sect of Muslims as “Non- Muslims” and they were denied even the basic rights including the right to ownership of property, the right to worship in Muslim mosques and use of Muslim epithets, the right to recruitment in Government services as also the right to exercise franchise and stand for elections. The Ahmediyas in Pakistan challenged the various provisions of the Ordinance, first in the High Court and later in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Ordinance in June 1993 and ruled that Ahmediyas are “not Muslims for the purpose of (the) constitution and law” in Pakistan. It means they are aliens and there are more than 50 lakh (5 million) Ahmediyas in Pakistan.

When a country is at war, restrictions on aliens become pretty stringent, particularly on the citizens of the belligerent countries, who are called “enemy aliens” as distinguished from “friendly aliens”, that is, citizens of States that are not at war.

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