US concerned over over minorities’ rights situation in Pakistan

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United Sates has expressed serious concerns regarding the state of minorities’ rights in country. The U.S. government also voiced alarm over the plight of minorities in the country. In this regard, the U.S. had specially made mention of the raids carried out targeting the Qadiani community. Pakistan government has been urged to safeguard the basic rights of the religious minorities in the country.

Religious minorities in Pakistan

Mark Toner, the spokesperson of the U.S. State Department while talking to the media said that the United States has been frequently voicing its concerns regarding the violation of rights of religious minorities in Pakistan. “In a US international religious freedom report, we have shown apprehensions on Pakistani law which restricts the basic religious freedom rights of the minorities,” Mark Toner stated.

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While replying to a question, Mark Toner said that United States is concerned about the raids carried out against the Ahmadi community in Pakistan. The counter terrorism forces had targeted the main headquarters of the Ahmadi community in Rabwah. Forces had arrested four individuals from the Ahmadi community on grounds of publishing their literature. “We believe, such laws are inconsistent with Pakistan’s international obligations,” he further said.

United States Commission for International Religious Freedom report stated: “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.”

“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. In addition, U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, such as the Pakistani Taliban, pose a significant security challenge to the government, targeting Pakistani civilians, governmental offices, and military locations,” USCRIF stated.