FO rejects US congressmen letter on Pakistan’s rights situation

The Foreign Office premises in Islamabad. The News/File
The Foreign Office premises in Islamabad. The News/File

Pakistan has rejected a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken by more than 60 members of the US Congress concerning the human rights situation in the country after the May 9 incident of vandalism.

The letter, co-authored by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, was signed by 65 other lawmakers who expressed concerns about “democratic backsliding and human rights abuses” in Pakistan following violent protests due to the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

At least 10 people were killed and dozens injured during the protests, with thousands of party officials and workers being arrested by authorities.

The spokesperson at the Foreign Office said that they have seen the letter and do not agree with its characterization of the events of May 9 and the situation in Pakistan. They further stated that the factual situation around the events of May 9 was spelled out by the National Security Committee (NSC) – comprising of top civil and military leadership of the country.

The spokesperson added that Pakistan remains committed to protecting the rights and property of all its citizens as guaranteed by its constitution and these fundamental freedoms are being upheld by their judiciary.

The spokesperson also expressed appreciation for China, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt, and Oman for not attending the G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting held in Srinagar on May 22-24, and categorically rejected India’s decision to host the meeting in Srinagar.