Religious freedom severely restricted in Pakistan: USCIRF report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 05, 2020, 10:46 AM(IST)

People protesting against blasphemy law in Pakistan Photograph:( PTI )

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The commissionwhich monitors religious freedoms around the world recommended the US government that it should redesignate Pakistan as a country of 'particular concern.'

Religious freedom is severely restricted in Pakistan and the country does nothing about it according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

The international organisation's annual report empasisized upon ''the systematic enforcement of blasphemy and anti-Ahmadiyya laws, and failure to address forced conversions of religious minorities and severely restricted religious freedom in Pakistan.''

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The commissionwhich monitors religious freedoms around the world recommended the US government that it should redesignate Pakistan as a country of ''particular concern.''

While referring to the case of Asia Bibi who spent years on death row after being accused of blasphemy and was acquitted last year, the body said ''there were high-profile acquittals, the blasphemy law remained in effect.''

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''USCIRF is aware of nearly 80 individuals who remained imprisoned for blasphemy, with at least half facing a life sentence or death,” it further said in the report.

The US panel highlighted the plight of Ahmadiya Muslims and said ''they continue to face severe persecution from authorities as well as societal harassment due to their beliefs, with both the authorities and mobs targeting their houses of worship.''

It also said that 1,000 women are forcibly converted to Islam each year in Pakistan. 

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