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US Secretary Of State Urges Pakistan To ‘Do More’ For Stopping Misuse Of Blasphemy Laws

Pakistan needs to do more to stop the abuse of blasphemy laws, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, AFP reported.

Pompeo urged Pakistan to do more to address religious freedom concerns in the country following the release of Asia Bibi, whose case drew international scrutiny.

Asia was on the death row since November 2010 after she was convicted on charges of committing blasphemy during an argument with two Muslim women in Sheikhupura. She was released after a three-judge special bench, headed by former CJP Nisar, and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, heard her appeal and acquitted her of all charges

Releasing an annual report on international religious freedom, Pompeo estimated that more than 40 others were serving life sentences or facing execution for blasphemy in Pakistan.

“We continue to call for their release and encourage the government to appoint an envoy to address religious freedom concerns,” Pompeo said.

the appeal and acquitted her of all charges

Pompeo also strongly criticised US adversaries Iran and China, pointing to Beijing’s detention of some one million Muslims, mostly from the Uighur ethnic minority group, and its “intense persecution” of Tibetan Buddhists, Christians and the Falungong spiritual movement.

However, despite reports of widespread abuses in Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump’s administration as it has in the past hesitated to criticise their close ally.

 

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