U.S. urges Pakistan to protect religious freedom

| Updated: Dec 10, 2016 14:48 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Dec. 10 (ANI): The United States has expressed its concern following reports of raids carried out by Pakistan's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on the publications and audit offices of the Ahmadiyya community in Punjab province and urged the Government of Pakistan to protect religious freedom and basic rights of all members of its population, including religious minorities. Deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State department Mark C. Toner said, "We have regularly noted our concerns about Pakistani laws that restrict peaceful religious expression, particularly by the Ahmadiyya community, in our international - our religious freedom report." "We believe such laws are inconsistent with Pakistan's international obligations," he added. Elaborating on the increase in attacks against Muslims in Myanmar, Toner said that U.S. continues to call for a prompt resolution of full humanitarian and media access to that region - Rakhine State. He said that U.S. ambassador to Burma and 13 of his counterparts in Rangoon have issued a joint statement urging all authorities to overcome the obstacles which have prevented a full resumption of humanitarian assistance to this area. (ANI)