Washington, December 12: Pakistan has always been on the hitlist of other countries and why not; the country has stooped to such a level that they themselves cannot save their image. But in a country like Pakistan, where people talk the language of violence and harassment, none is expected and most importantly justice is far from reach.
Interestingly, the United States has pulled Pakistan to show them where they actually stand. The Trump Administration on Tuesday added Pakistan in their list of blacklisted countries for their gruesome act of violating religious freedom of minorities with ramping up pressure over its treatment of minorities. Along with Pakistan, the US Administration also designated China, Saudi Arabia and seven others as countries of particular concern for engaging in serious ongoing violation of religious freedom.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among "countries of particular concern" in a congressionally mandated annual report, meaning the US government is obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations. The Secretary of State, a year earlier had placed Pakistan on a special watch list which was a step short of the designation.
In a statement, Pompeo said, "In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs.”
However the entire world knows how the human rights advocates have long voiced their concern about the treatment of minorities in Pakistan, including Shiites, Ahmadis and Christians. Stressing on promoting and protecting international religious freedom to be the top priority of US foreign policy, the Secretary of the State Pompeo pointed that US would not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression.
With this, the Trump Administration also designated al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda, al-Shabab, Boko Haram, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Khorasan, and the Taliban as Entities of Particular Concern.
Nine countries remained for another year on the list of Countries of Particular Concern -- China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
The United States removed one country from the list -- Uzbekistan -- but kept it on the watch list. Pompeo also put on the watch list Russia, adding another item of contention to the relationship between the two powers. Russia has increasingly drawn concern in the United States over its treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses, the heterodox Christian group known for proselytization.