After the US State Department took a ‘unilateral and arbitrary’ decision of keeping Pakistan in its 2019 annual blacklist for Religious Freedom Violations, Islamabad has categorically rejected the move. The country was kept in the list for a second consecutive year.
Nine countries, including Pakistan, remained on the State Department’s annual list of “countries of particular concern” for having engaged in or tolerated “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom”. Sudan is the only nation removed from the blacklist.
Pakistan was designated in 2018 after years of US hesitation over concerns on the treatment of minorities. According to the announcement made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pakistan’s name featured in the list of countries, which are subject to sanctions over religious liberty.
Responding to the decision, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said, “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 More
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