US places Pakistan on watch list for religious freedom violations

WASHINGTON DC: The US State Department has placed Pakistan on a special watch list for “severe violations of religious freedom,” it said on Thursday, days after the White House said Islamabad would have to do more to combat terrorism and receive US aid.

The State Department also said it had re-designated 10 other nations as “countries of particular concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated egregious violations of religious freedom.

In accordance with International #ReligiousFreedom Act of 1998, the Secretary of State annually designates governments that have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom as “Countries of Particular Concern".

— Department of State (@StateDept) January 4, 2018

Today @StateDept announces that the Secretary of State re-designated Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan as Countries of Particular Concern on Dec. 22, 2017. The Secretary placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List.

— Department of State (@StateDept) January 4, 2018

The re-designated countries were China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

They were re-designated on December 22. “The protection of religious freedom is vital to peace, stability, and prosperity,” the department said in a statement.

“These designations are aimed at improving the respect for religious freedom in these countries.”

Pakistan lost over 50,000 civilians in war on terror

US President Donald Trump has criticised Pakistan for not doing more to combat terrorism, and his administration has informed members of Congress that it will announce plans to end “security assistance” payments to the country.

Pakistan has said it is already doing a lot to fight militants, and summoned the US ambassador to explain a tweet by Trump that said the United States had been foolish in dispensing aid to Islamabad.

Top civil-military leadership meets in Islamabad following Donald Trump's scathing statement against Pakistan

  • Erdogan calls Mamnoon, says Turkey stands with Pakistan in wake of Trump tweet

    Turkish president says Pakistan has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in war against terrorism

  • Pakistan lost over 50,000 civilians in war on terror

    Pakistan lost 6,000 security personnel as compared to 2,357 US soldiers

    More in World

    Original news :