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US places Pakistan on special watch list for 'religious freedom violations'

09:52 PM | 4 Jan, 2018
US places Pakistan on special watch list for 'religious freedom violations'
WASHINGTON - The United States has placed Pakistan on a special watch list "for severe violations of religious freedom", a press release by the US State Department said on Thursday.

The announcement came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided to re-designate about 10 countries as ‘Countries of Particular Concern’.

“The secretary also placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

No other explanation on Pakistan was available immediately.

“Too many places around the globe, people continue to be persecuted, unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief,” Nauert said in a statement.

“Today, a number of governments infringe upon individuals’ ability to adopt, change, or renounce their religion or belief, worship in accordance with their religion or beliefs, or be free from coercion to practice a particular religion or belief,” she said.

In accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, she said the secretary of state annually designates governments that have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom as ‘Countries of Particular Concern’.

“Today, the Department of State announces that the Secretary of State re-designated Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) on December 22, 2017,” she said.

Noting that the protection of religious freedom is vital to peace, stability, and prosperity, Nauert said these designations are aimed at improving the respect for religious freedom in these countries.

“We recognise that several designated countries are working to improve their respect for religious freedom; we welcome these initiatives and look forward to continued dialogue,” Nauert said.

The US remains committed to working with governments, civil society organisations, and religious leaders to advance religious freedom around the world, she added.

The writer is a staff member. He has been affiliated with Pakistan's leading English newspapers and worked as News Producer at FM 107.4. Death (as...he believes...life is a station, and death is a longest journey from seen to unseen world), Rain, and winter's Full Moon 'Jarray ki Chandani' always fascinate him too much.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 17 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 17, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293.15 for buying and 296.1 for selling while British Pound stands at 344.25 for buying, and 347.6 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.4 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 17 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293.15 296.1
UK Pound Sterling GBP 344.25 347.6
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45 76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.26 911.26
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.24 58.84
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.75 166.75
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.37 77.07
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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