(2018-01-05) Pakistan rejects the US designation of Pakistan in the ”Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom.” The report is not based on objective criteria. This placement on special watch list is a new categorization and we would be seeking clarification from the US regarding its rationale and implications.
The designation overlooks the significant achievements of Pakistan in the area of human rights. Pakistan is firmly committed to the promotion and protection of human rights including the right of religious freedom, under its Constitution. Wide ranging legislative, institutional and administrative measures have been taken by the Government of Pakistan to ensure full implementation of guarantees afforded by the Constitution. The international community is aware of the incremental steps being taken by Pakistan that have brought about positive changes on ground. It is surprising that countries that have a well known record of systematic persecution of religious minorities have not been included in the list. This reflects the double standards and political motives behind the listing and hence lacks credibility.
Pakistan will continue to work with the international community to ensure that internationally agreed standards on religious freedom are observed in Pakistan and the broader region.
05 January 2018