Pakistan rejects US allegations of particular concerns for religious freedom

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has rejected its designation by the US amongst countries of particular concerns for religious freedom, terming it as arbitrary and selective assessment.

At his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said the designation is completely against the realities on the ground and raises serious doubts about the credibility of this exercise. He said such subjective designations do not contribute towards promoting the cause of religious freedom.

The spokesperson said Pakistan and the US have been constructively engaging on the subject at the bilateral relation. This is a fact regrettably overlooked by the US.

Asim Iftikhar said Pakistani society is multi-religious and pluralistic with a rich tradition of interfaith harmony. He said religious freedom and the protection of the rights of minorities are guaranteed by our constitution and ensured through a range of legislative, policy, and administrative measures.

Furthermore, the spokesperson noted with concerns the glaring omission of India saying this puts the credibility of the US report into question.

He pointed out that the RSS-BJP regime and their leaders openly disregard religious freedom and discriminate against minority communities in an institutionalized manner. State complicity in organized violence against the Muslim minority in India is a matter of record.

He said it is no secret that attacks by cow vigilantes and mob lynching of Indian Muslims take place regularly with complete impunity for the perpetrators. He said systematic demonization, dispossession, marginalization, and targeted violence against Muslims in Hindutva-inspired India have become commonplace.

The spokesperson stressed that redressal of the rising trend of intolerance, discrimination, xenophobia, and Islamophobia requires global efforts based on the principles of cooperation and mutual understanding. He said Pakistan is sincerely playing its part in this endeavor. TF Report

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