• Monday 13th July 2020

Us Concerned On Killings In Pakistan

The United States voiced concern over extrajudicial killings Pakistan, including in Baluchistan.

WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday voiced concern over extrajudicial killings and religious intolerance in Pakistan, including in its troubled southwestern province of Baluchistan.

In an annual report on human rights, the State Department said that the “most serious human rights problems” in Pakistan included extrajudicial killings, torture and disappearances by both security forces and militants.

“Lack of government accountability remained a pervasive problem. Abuses often went unpunished, fostering a culture of impunity,” it said.

In presenting the report, senior US official Mike Posner also highlighted an uptick in violations of religious freedom, including through controversial anti-blasphemy laws, as well as violence in Baluchistan.

“We’re very concerned about the violence in Baluchistan. We’re concerned about the effects of those who’ve challenged some of the laws, like the blasphemy law,” said Posner, the assistant secretary of state for human rights.

Posner raised the case of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death in November 2010 for alleged blasphemy. Assassins last year killed Salman Taseer, the governor of the central province of Punjab, and Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for minority affairs, who both defended Bibi and sought reforms.

In her own remarks on the report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not name Pakistan but voiced concern over the treatment of religious minorities including the Ahmadi community.

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