Pakistan rejects US blacklisting over religious freedom violations

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Published: December 12, 2018 11:33:25 AM

Pakistan on Wednesday rejected as "unilateral and politically motivated" the US' decision to place it on its annual list of nations that infringe on religious freedom.

Pakistan rejects US blacklisting over religious freedom violations (Representational image)

Pakistan on Wednesday rejected as “unilateral and politically motivated” the US’ decision to place it on its annual list of nations that infringe on religious freedom. The Trump administration on Tuesday designated Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia and seven others as countries of particular concern for having engaged in or tolerated “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

“Pakistan rejects the US State Department’s unilateral and politically motivated pronouncement released in the context of its annual religious freedom report,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. “Besides the clear biases reflected from these designations, there are serious questions on the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise,” it said.

Pakistan is a multi-religious and pluralistic society where people of diverse faiths and denominations live together, including around 4 per cent of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, it said. Ensuring equal treatment of minorities and their enjoyment of human rights without any discrimination is the cardinal principle of the Constitution of Pakistan, the statement said. It also called for an honest self-introspection to know the causes of exponential rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the US.

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