U.S. President Donald Trump. (File | Reuters)
NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump’s decision of closing his country’s border to refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries has caught the world off guard. Watchers of the India-US relation feels that Indian Muslims have little to worry about, but emigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia could be in for extreme vetting before entering the US.
President Trump has contended that the order titled “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” was part of a strategy to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists”. He has established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations. Officials hope that the main aim of the decision would be to keep refugees out.
“India is not really worried at the moment as the religious radicalisation has not been a big problem in the country and it has not been a source of refugees. So far no Indians have been arrested abroad for being involved in acts of terror,” a senior MEA official said requesting anonymity. India has the second largest Muslim population in the world and though largely non-radicalised the spill-over effects of the Islamic State’s ascension have been felt in Kerala.
President Trump had signed an executive order banning entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia with immediate effect. The countries that have been left out of the order of Trump’s ban have been Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia from which the perpetrators of 9/11 hailed.
The MEA officials added that the involvement of citizens of Pakistan in several cases could have raised a red flag with the US administration as the executive order specifically mentions the 9/11 terror attack saying that “State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans.”
In his first televised interview Trump indicated of things to come. He has said that even though Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not among countries that will face a visa ban to enter the country, their citizens will face “extreme vetting”.