Asia

Pakistan rejects US report on religious freedom

Speaking during a weekly presser, spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that Pakistan assured religious freedom and provided protection to its citizens.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday ‘categorically’ rejected the US State Department’s report on religious freedom in the country, saying ‘baseless’ assertions were made in it, media reported.

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Speaking during a weekly presser, spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that Pakistan assured religious freedom and provided protection to its citizens.

“We categorically reject the baseless assertions made about Pakistan in the International Religious Freedom Report released by the US Department of State. Such ill-informed reporting exercises about internal affairs of sovereign states are pointless, irresponsible and counterproductive,” the spokesperson said, Geo News reported.

The remarks of the spokesperson came days after the US state department published a report highlighting the need to improve “interfaith tolerance, inclusion, and harmony” in the country.

Based on several events in 2022, the US-based report noted that “several political leaders used inflammatory religious language to attack their political rivals.”

Taking issue with the report, the spokesperson denied its findings and said that Pakistan wanted to work with the world to end racial discrimination and Islamophobia, Geo News reported.

“We are proud of our religious diversity and pluralistic social fabric. Pakistan’s Constitution sets a robust framework for wide-ranging legal, policy and affirmative measures to safeguard and advance the rights and freedoms of all Pakistanis irrespective of their faith.

“These rights and constitutional guarantees are protected, upheld and reinforced by an independent judiciary,” Baloch asserted.

“In our interactions, including with the United States, we have raised serious concerns about the steady surge in anti-Muslim hatred, racism and Islamophobia. We hope to work with international partners to counter these pernicious forms of religious intolerance, discrimination and Islamophobia.”

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