Pakistan rejects designation as “a Country of Particular Concern” by US State Department

Foreign OfficePakistan rejects designation as "a Country of Particular Concern" by US State...

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan has categorically rejected its designation as “a Country of Particular Concern” by the US State Department.

“We are deeply dismayed that the designation is based on biased and arbitrary assessment, detached from ground realities,” said the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Monday.

   

The Spokesperson said that Pakistan is a pluralistic Country with a rich tradition of interfaith harmony.

In line with its Constitution, Pakistan has undertaken wide ranging measures to promote religious freedom and protect minority rights, she said.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that we note with deep concern that India, the biggest and serial violator of religious freedom, has once again been excluded from the US State Department’s designation list.

This is despite clear recommendation by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as well as public concerns raised by international human rights constituencies about India’s maltreatment of religious minorities, she said.

This conspicuous omission raises serious questions about the credibility, transparency and objectivity of the entire process, she added.

The Spokesperson said that we remain convinced that such discriminatory, unilateral and subjective exercises are counterproductive and undermine our shared objective to advance religious freedom globally.

“Pakistan strongly believes that the contemporary challenge of religious intolerance, xenophobia and Islamophobia can be best countered through constructive engagement and collective efforts based on mutual understanding and respect. With a similar spirit, Pakistan has bilaterally engaged the US,” Baloch said.

The Spokesperson also said that Pakistan’s concerns about the designation is being conveyed to the US side.

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