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Pakistan rejects US State Department inclusion in religious freedom concern list

by Derek Andrews
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Pakistan rejected Monday its designation as a “Nation of Specific Concern” (CPC) by the US State Division over spiritual freedom considerations within the South Asian nation. The US State Division designated Pakistan as a CPC on January 4 following a suggestion from the US Fee on Worldwide Non secular Freedom (USCIRF).

The Pakistan Ministry of Overseas Affairs launched a press release on Monday that categorically rejected its designation as a CPC, criticizing the choice as biased and indifferent from floor realities. The assertion asserted, “Pakistan is a pluralistic nation, with a wealthy custom of interfaith concord. In keeping with its Structure, Pakistan has undertaken wide-ranging measures to advertise spiritual freedom and defend minority rights.” The assertion expressed deep concern over India’s exclusion from the record, regardless of suggestions by the USCIRF and worldwide human rights considerations about India’s remedy of non secular minorities. Pakistan questioned the method’s credibility, transparency, and objectivity, asserting that such unilateral workout routines undermine the shared goal of advancing spiritual freedom globally. Pakistan advocated for countering spiritual intolerance via constructive engagement and collective efforts based mostly on mutual understanding and respect. The press launch added, “Pakistan’s considerations in regards to the designation is being conveyed to the U.S. facet.”

The State Division has designated Burma, China, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as CPCs for extreme violations of non secular freedom. Algeria, Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Comoros, and Vietnam are on the division’s Particular Watch Record (SPL), which comprises international locations that don’t meet all of the CPC standards. Moreover, particular entities like al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS-Sahel, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin, and the Taliban are additionally designated. The division emphasizes the necessity for world efforts to deal with structural and systemic challenges to non secular freedom, urging an finish to abuses worldwide.

The USCIRF is an impartial, bipartisan US federal authorities fee established by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). It displays world spiritual freedom violations utilizing worldwide requirements and makes coverage suggestions to the US president, secretary of state and Congress. IRFA mandates the secretary of state to designate “international locations of specific concern” (CPCs) for systematic and egregious violations of non secular freedom. USCIRF recommends international locations assembly the CPC threshold and IRFA grants the Secretary of State versatile coverage choices, together with sanctions or waivers, to deal with these violations. These actions aren’t robotically imposed however present a variety of responses to severe spiritual freedom abuses.

USCIRF in a press release on January 4 expressed excessive disappointment with the State Division for not designating Nigeria and India as CPCs, regardless of assembly the authorized customary. USCIRF referred to as for a congressional listening to on the matter. Moreover, additionally they highlighted the waiver of sanctions on Pakistan regardless of its re-designation as a CPC. Earlier in December, USCIRF had reiterated its suggestion of re-designation for Pakistan in a report on the abuse of blasphemy legal guidelines towards minorities.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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