FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2005
Anne Johnson, Director of Communications, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) will hold a public, on-the-record hearing on Thursday, June 30 on "The United States and Pakistan: Navigating a Complex Relationship." The hearing is scheduled for 2:00pm - 4:00pm in the Senate Dirksen Office Building, Room 138.
The State Department continues to characterize Pakistan's human rights record as "poor." Yet, Pakistan is considered by the Administration to be a key ally in the war on terrorism and the country has received a substantial increase in U.S. assistance since 9/11. There is concern among some observers, however, that current U.S. policies have resulted in a muting of U.S. criticism of the Musharraf government's democracy and human rights practices, which may ultimately be undermining U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.
Since 2002, the Commission has recommended that Pakistan be named a "country of particular concern," or CPC, for severe violations of religious freedom. To date the State Department has not designated Pakistan a CPC.
What: "The United States and Pakistan: Navigating a Complex Relationship"
When: Thursday, June 30, 2005, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Where: Senate Dirksen Office Building, Room 138.
To examine the current state of U.S.-Pakistan relations, Commissioners will hear expert testimony from the following confirmed witnesses:
Christine Fair, Research and Studies Program, U.S. Institute of Peace
Husain Haqqani, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Ambassador Karl Inderfurth, Director and Professor, International Affairs Program, The George Washington University
Danielle Pletka, Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Witness testimony and a transcript of the hearing will be made available on the Commission's web site at www.uscirf.gov after the event.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress.
Preeta D. Bansal,Chair