Dec 25, 2019, 12:07 AM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83607357
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Pakistan says US report on religious freedom detached from ground realities

Islamabad, Dec 25, IRNA -- The government of Pakistan has rejected a report of US State Department on religious freedom for the second time in current year, terming it detached from ground realities of the country.

“Pakistan rejects the US State Department's unilateral and arbitrary designation under the religious freedom report announced on 20 December 2019,” Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said this pronouncement is not only detached from ground realities of Pakistan but also raises questions about the credibility and transparency of the entire exercise.

“The designation is reflective of selective targeting of countries, and thus unlikely to be helpful to the professed cause of advancing religious freedom,” said the statement.

It said Pakistan is a multi-religious and pluralistic country where people of all faiths enjoy religious freedom under constitutional protections.

“All branches -- the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary -- have made concerted efforts to ensure that all citizens of Pakistan, irrespective of faith, denomination, caste or creed, can profess and practice their religion in full freedom. The higher judiciary of the country has given landmark judgments directing on ensuring the sanctity and security of places of worship of minorities,” the statement noted.

It went on to say that Pakistan has also engaged with the international community, including the United States, for better understanding on religious freedom issues.

It added challenges to religious freedom are a global concern and only cooperative efforts can help address them.

“For its part, Pakistan has also raised concerns over growing trend of Islamophobia in many Western countries, including the United States. Working together in an environment of trust and understanding is the best way forward in realizing the objective of promoting and protecting religious freedom,” it said.

On June 29th this year Pakistan had also rejected the report issued by the US Department of State on International Religious Freedom and termed the observations of the report "biased" and "unsubstantiated".

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