Islamabad, We categorically reject Pakistan’s designation as “a Country of Particular Concern” by the U.S. State Department. We are deeply dismayed that the designation is based on biased and arbitrary assessment, detached from ground realities.
Pakistan is a pluralistic country, with a rich tradition of interfaith harmony. In line with its Constitution, Pakistan has undertaken wide ranging measures to promote religious freedom and protect minority rights.
We note with deep concern that India, the biggest and serial violator of religious freedom, has once again been excluded from the U.S. State Department’s designation list. This is despite clear recommendation by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as well as public concerns raised by international human rights constituencies about India’s maltreatment of religious minorities.This conspicuous omission raises serious questions about the credibility, transparency and objectivity of the entire process.
We remain convinced that such discriminatory, unilateral and subjective exercises are counterproductive and undermine our shared objective to advance religious freedom globally.
Pakistan strongly believes that the contemporary challenge of religious intolerance, xenophobia and Islamophobia can be best countered through constructive engagement and collective efforts based on mutual understanding and respect. With a similar spirit, Pakistan has bilaterally engaged U.S.
Pakistan’s concerns about the designation is being conveyed to the U.S. side.