ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Foreign Ministry on Friday rejected Washington’s report on the deteriorating religious freedom in Pakistan, saying that it is an “arbitrary” assessment of the prevailing rights situation in the country.
“The inherent problem with such kinds of reports, unilateral in nature, is that they are devoid of the element of constructive engagement,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said in a media briefing. Such reports often do not fully take into account the ground realities and efforts that are being undertaken by a country, and are not very helpful in advancing this discussion, he added.
“At the same time, we have seen that such reports are invariably lopsided. You can see clearly some double standards in these reports, in terms of the problems of human rights in different countries and different situations, and the way they are portrayed in these reports,” he said.
Pakistan is committed to the respect for human rights which are universal in nature, Ahmad said, adding that it is deeply dedicated to ensuring the respect for human rights and religious freedoms in the country.
The foreign ministry spokesperson said Pakistan has taken a lot of reforms to promote and protect the rights of religious minorities and it continues to engage constructively with all its partners on these matters.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2022 Annual Report recommended redesignating Pakistan as a “country of particular concern”, and accused the country of engaging in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act.
Activists say human rights in Pakistan records have touched a new low with several media reports and global bodies reflecting the dire situation for women, minorities, children, and media persons in the country.
In Sindh, forced conversions and attacks on minority communities have become even more rampant.
Forced conversion of minor Hindu, Sikh, and Christian girls, always under duress, has become an increasingly common phenomenon in the country. (ANI)