The United States said on Tuesday it has added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, ramping up pressure over the treatment of minorities in the country.
In January, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended that Pakistan be designated as a “country of concern” because of its alleged “serious violations of religious freedom”.
It also noted that “abusive enforcement of the country’s strict blasphemy laws result[s] in the suppression of rights for non-Muslims, Shia and Ahmedis”.
Pakistan on Wednesday rejected the “unilateral and politically motivated pronouncement”, and suggested the US introspect over the “exponential rise” of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in America.
“Pakistan does not need counsel by any individual country how to protect the rights of its minorities,” the Foreign Office statement asserted.