Pakistan rejects US designation on religious freedom


ISLAMABAD, – Pakistan on Tuesday rejected the US State Department s unilateral and arbitrary designation under the religious freedom report announced on December 20, by declaring that the pronouncement was not only detached from ground realities of Pakistan, but also raised questions about the credibility and transparency of the entire exercise.

In a statement issued by foreign office, spokesperson said that the designation is reflective of selective targeting of countries, and thus unlikely to be helpful to the professed cause of advancing religious freedom.

The statement said Pakistan was a multi-religious and pluralistic country where people of all faiths enjoyed religious freedom under the constitutional protections.

“All branches — the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary — have made concerted efforts to ensure that all citizens of Pakistan, irrespective of faith, denomination, caste or creed, can profess and practice their religion in full freedom. The higher judiciary of the country has given landmark judgments directing on ensuring the sanctity and security of places of worship of minorities,” it maintained.

It said Pakistan had also engaged with the international community, including the United States, for better understanding on religious freedom issues.

Earlier this year, Senator Samuel Brownback, the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, was welcomed in Pakistan for dialogue to advance the mutual objectives of religious freedom globally.

“It is regrettable that this constructive engagement has been overlooked,” the spokesperson added.