United States retains Pakistan among countries that tolerate religious discrimination

US State Depart­ment released a statement on Dec 18, designating Pakistan and eight other countries as “Countries of Particular Concern (CPC)”. Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, countries on the CPC list are classified as “having engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom”. The list also includes Myanmar, China, Erit­r­­ea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkm­enistan.

Countries in this category can face further actions, including economic sanctions, by the United States. The State Department also designated Al-Nusra Front, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Khorasan and Taliban as Entities of Particular Concern.

Source: Dawn