Aisha Farooqui, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson (File pic)
Aisha Farooqui, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson (File pic)

Pak rejects US report which places it on list of countries violating religious freedom

ANI | Updated: Dec 25, 2019 01:38 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Dec 25 (ANI): Pakistan on Tuesday rejected a US State Department report which placed it on a list of countries violating religious freedoms, describing the move as "unilateral and arbitrary", which, it said, raises questions about the credibility and transparency of the entire exercise and is reflective of "selective targeting of countries".
"Pakistan rejects the US State Department's unilateral and arbitrary designation under the religious freedom report announced on December 20, 2019. This pronouncement is not only detached from ground realities of Pakistan but also raises questions about the credibility and transparency of the entire exercise," read a release by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"The designation is reflective of selective targeting of countries and thus unlikely to be helpful to the professed cause of advanced religious freedom," it added.
Pakistan, China, Iran, and North Korea were among the countries which were placed on the special watch list by the US State Department for having engaged in or tolerated "systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom".
In its statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry further said that Pakistan is a multi-religious and pluralistic country where people of all faiths enjoy religious freedom under constitutional protections and concerted efforts were made to ensure that all citizens of Pakistan profess and practice their religion in full freedom.
"Challenges to religious freedom are a global concern and only cooperative efforts can help address them. For its part, Pakistan has also raised concerns over the growing trend of Islamophobia in many western countries, including the United States," the statement read. (ANI)

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