US Monitors Pakistan Government’s Attacks on Minorities

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Washington, DC – The United States reacted with caution to reports of persecution faced by identified ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan.

Asked to comment on the ongoing attacks on minorities, a State Department Spokesperson told IAT, “We’ve seen reports about recent court rulings regarding the declaration of one’s religion, and actions taken against ethnic minorities in Pakistan. We’re closely monitoring the situation and encourage all countries to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and protect the rights of minorities and vulnerable populations.”

In a recent ruling, the Islamabad High Court required people to declare their religion on all official documents. The court ruling also requires that citizens take a religious oath upon joining the civil service, armed forces, or judiciary.

Commenting on the ongoing situation in Pakistan, Nadeem Nusrat, spokesperson for “Free Karachi”, a voluntary campaign, extended full support on behalf of Mohahirs to the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement. He strongly condemned the false cases registered against Manzoor Pashteen and Pashtun leadership for raising their voice against the discriminatory policies of the Pakistani Army and termed this act as a violation of fundamental rights.

Spearheading a campaign here to highlight the gross human rights abuses against minorities in Pakistan by its army and intelligence agencies, Nusrat called on all ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan to form a greater alliance against the Pakistani state’s inhumane policies in Sindh, Balochistan, KPK, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan. Religious minorities are also being systematically targeted in Pakistan and one can see the drastic reduction in Hindu and Christian population in Pakistan, noted Nusrat in a statement.

Cautioning Islamabad to watch its treatment of the ethnic communities and human right violations, the State Department Spokesperson told IAT, “Our stance on minority rights, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression are well-known, and well-documented in the annual international religious freedom report, and the international human rights report,” adding, “The United States has always – and will continue to advocate for the protection of minority rights around the world. Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are fundamental human rights.”

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