(Washington Times) – LAHORE, Pakistan — Harsh laws forbidding blasphemy against Islam are dividing Pakistani society and driving a deeper wedge between Islamabad and Washington during a bitter feud over the war in neighboring Afghanistan.
The State Department announced this month that it was adding Pakistan to its watch list for severe violations of religious freedom. It cited abuses of Christians, Hindus, Ahmadi Muslims and other religious minorities in the heavily Sunni Muslim country.
Central to that abuse are the country’s blasphemy laws, said Daniel Mark, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “Pakistan continues to harass its religious minorities, has state-sanctioned discrimination against groups such as the Ahmadis, and tolerates extra-judicial violence in the guise of opposing blasphemy,” Mr. Mark said in a statement.
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