Religious freedom

Source: Dawn

THE State Department recently missed its legal deadline for designating ‘Countries of Particular Concern’, a list of nations that violate religious freedom in a “systematic, ongoing, and egregious” manner. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the body that recommends which countries should be designated, criticised the State Department for the oversight, stating that it “tells violators of religious freedom around the world that the United States is looking away”, and is unlikely to take rights violations seriously. Pakistan is among the 16 countries that the USCIRF has recommended feature on the list — not surprisingly, and not for the first time. However, the State Department has yet to designate Pakistan as a CPC, presumably to avoid tackling the sensitive issue of religious freedoms as part of an already fractious bilateral relationship.

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Categories: Asia, Pakistan

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