Pakistan dismissed the recent US report on religious freedom violations in the country, terming it “biased” and “unsubstantiated”.
According to the report that was issued by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), religious freedom conditions in Pakistan “generally portrayed negative” despite some positive steps being taken to promote religious freedom and combat religiously-motivated violence and hate speech by Pakistan government.
“During the year, extremist groups and societal actors continued to discriminate against and attack religious minorities, including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadis, and Shia Muslims,” the report said.
The report further said that abusive enforcement of the country’s strict blasphemy laws continued to result in the “suppression of rights for non-Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Ahmadis…Forced conversions of non-Muslims continued despite the passage of the Hindu Marriage Act, which recognises Hindu family law”.
However, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry has rejected the report.
“Pakistan is of the view that all countries are obliged to promote religious harmony and have a duty to protect their citizens in accordance with national laws and international norms,” it added.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to visit the US early next month, which will be his first trip to Washington after he assumed office last August, according to diplomatic sources.