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Sunday, April 14, 2024  
05 Shawwal 1445  

Russia supports Pakistan’s position against placement by US on religious freedom watch list

Says it direct act of interference in internal affairs
A file photo of Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Khorev Albert Pavlovich. Photo via X/@RusEmbPakistan
A file photo of Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Khorev Albert Pavlovich. Photo via X/@RusEmbPakistan

Russia supported the position of Pakistan against its placement by the United States on the religious freedom watch list, the envoy said.

“We regard the inclusion of Russia, Pakistan and a number of other countries in the list of states violating religious freedoms published by the American State Department as a direct act of interference in internal affairs,” the embassy quoted Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Khorev Albert Pavlovich as saying in a statement on Tuesday.

On January 4, a press release from the US State Department on religious freedom designations categorised Pakistan, along with China, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, as a Country of Particular Concern for “having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom”.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office rejected such a designation and added that it was deeply dismayed by the decision which according to it was based on “biased and arbitrary assessment”.

The South Asian country while describing itself as a pluralistic country noted that it was concerned that India was once again been excluded from the US State Department’s designation list. Such a conspicuous omission raised questions about the credibility of the entire process, it added.

Under the guise of protecting human rights, the Russian envoy’s statement claimed that the West sought to impose false values on peoples and directed against our traditional religions.

“We support the position of official Islamabad, as set out in the press release of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry on January 8 regarding the need to resolve problems of religious intolerance solely on the basis of mutual understanding and respect,” it added.

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