Pak in list of US panel's list of 13 violators of religious freedom

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 30, 2010 11:30 hrs

A US governmental panel has included Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China in a list of 13 countries that have seriously violated religious freedoms.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, described the countries where religious freedom is endangered as 'hot spots', and called upon the US Government to take steps to improve conditions in those nations.

"It is a small but critically important point of intersection of foreign policy, national security and international religious freedom standards," the report stated.

This year's list of countries included all eight nations named last year where religious freedom is being attacked besides five new countries like Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.

The panel's report said that though Saudi Arabia has implemented several steps to cut the violation of religious freedom, there has been a "systematic, egregious and ongoing" breach of religious freedom.

Leonard Leo, the panel's chairman said that visits to the 'hot spots' had found situations "where freedom of religion is obstructed and related human rights are trampled."

"In China, the government continues to engage in systematic and egregious violations of the freedom of religion or belief," The Daily Times quoted the report, as saying.

Leo said the report offers important foreign policy solutions that should be implemented by the respective government's and the US should also urge the nations named in the list to take those into consideration.

"The report's conclusion is clear, the administration must do more," he said. (ANI)

More from Sify: