A recent report compiled by the United States’ Commission for International Religious Freedom USCRIF, has listed Pakistan among some of the worst violators of the Religious freedom. The report highlighted, various factors contributing to the rising phenomenon of deteriorating religious freedom in the country.
“In 2015, the Pakistani government continued to perpetrate and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations. Religiously-discriminatory constitutional provisions and legislation, such as the country’s blasphemy law and anti-Ahmadiyya laws, intrinsically violate international standards of freedom of religion or belief and result in prosecutions and imprisonments,” the report criticizes the Pakistan government.
The report further pin points he facts that, “Religious minority communities, including Shi’a and Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians, and Hindus, experience chronic sectarian and religiously-motivated violence from both terrorist organizations and individuals within society. The government’s failure to provide adequate protection for likely targets of such violence or prosecute perpetrators has created a deep-rooted climate of impunity.”
Other burning issues taken up in this report are related to the “Discriminatory content against minorities in provincial textbooks remains a significant concern, as are reports of forced conversions and marriages of Christian and Hindu girls and women. While the Pakistani government has taken some steps over the last two years to address egregious religious freedom violations, it has failed to implement systemic changes.”
In view of these findings, the commission again proposed that Pakistan should be designated as a country of particular concern. “USCIRF again recommends in 2016 that Pakistan be designated a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), as it has recommended since 2002.”
The report continued to portray a deteriorating situation of religious freedom, stating, “Pakistan’s religious freedom environment has long been marred by religiously-discriminatory constitutional provisions and legislation, including its blasphemy laws. For years, the Pakistani government has failed to protect citizens, minority and majority alike, from sectarian and religiously-motivated violence. Pakistani authorities also have failed to consistently bring perpetrators to justice or take action against societal actors who incite violence.”