Pakistan rejects downgrading by US in religious freedom

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s foreign ministry has rejected Washington’s move of placing Islamabad on its annual list of worst offenders for nations that infringe on religious freedom.

In a statement on Wednesday, it termed the decision as “unilateral and politically motivated.”

It said “besides the clear biases reflected from these designations, there are serious questions on the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise.”

Pakistan’s reaction came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he added Pakistan to the U.S. list of “countries of particular concern” regarding protection for people to worship according to their beliefs.

Pakistan had previously been on a special watch list for religious freedom.

The downgrade means Pakistan could be hit with U.S. sanctions, although Pompeo waived those penalties in the U.S. national interest.

Categories: International News