The United States (US) has placed Pakistan on a list of countries that are “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom” during 2022.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced this on Friday and said, “Around the world, governments and non-state actors harass, threaten, jail, and even kill individuals on account of their beliefs.”
He noted that the US will not stand by in the face of these abuses.
Apart from Pakistan, the US has placed China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and others. However, Algeria, the Central African Republic, Comoros, and Vietnam are on the Special Watch List for engaging in, or tolerating, severe violations of religious freedom.
This is not the first time that Pakistan is on the list of religious freedom violators.
The Trump administration first placed Pakistan on this list in December 2018 and retained it in 2020 as well. The Biden administration, which came to office in January last year, retained the old list with some changes, but kept Pakistan on it.