A top US diplomat has claimed Pakistan is marketing Hindu and Christian women as “concubines” and “forced brides” to China.
He said: “We just had really a difficult webinar this morning on forced brides into China, and one of the source places is Pakistan religious minorities, Christians and Hindu women being marketed as concubines or forced brides into China because there’s not effective support, and then there’s discrimination against the religious minorities that make them more vulnerable.”
He mentioned this as one of the reasons for designating Pakistan as a country of particular concern (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act.
Recently, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo designated Pakistan and China along with eight other countries that are of particular concern for engaging in or tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom”.
The US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) had recommended to the State Department to designate India also as a CPC. Notably, the State Department rejected the recommendation.
Asked by a Pakistani reporter if there was a double standard in Pompeo giving Pakistan the designation and not India, Brownback said while in Pakistan, a lot of the actions against minorities are taken by the government, that was not the case in India. “Pakistan has half of the world’s people that are locked up for apostasy or blasphemy,” he pointed out.
He said in India, some of the actions like the CAA are taken by the government but there are others like “much of its communal violence” and then when they take place, “we try to determine whether or not there has been an effective police enforcement, judicial action after communal violence takes place”.
However, New Delhi has rejected the USCIRF’s observations against India in its annual report.
In addition to Pakistan, Pompeo put China, Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on the CPC list.