Pakistani religious students and activists gather for a protest against social media in Islamabad on March 8, 2017, and demanded the removal of all blasphemous content from social media sites. Photo: AFP / Aamir Qureshi
Pakistan has been put on a US watch list for countries of concern over “severe violations of religious freedom” – and a closer look at the situation reveals that religious minorities and atheists are at a higher risk than ever.
The State Department’s move came after a tweet by President Donald Trump in New Year accusing Pakistan of providing “safe haven to terrorists”. However, the list is significant given the state’s surrender to protests by the Islamic political party Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) at the end of last year.