FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2019
USCIRF Condemns Terrorist Attack on Shi’a Muslims in Pakistan
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned in the strongest possible terms Friday’s terrorist attack in Quetta, Pakistan, which left more than 20 dead and dozens injured. The attack, for which the Islamic State has reportedly claimed responsibility, took place in a neighborhood heavily populated by Hazaras, a mostly Shi’a Muslim ethnic group.
“We offer our deepest condolences to those affected by this horrific and cowardly attack against a community that already has suffered terribly in recent years at the hands of extremist groups,” said USCIRF Chair Tenzin Dorjee. “We urge Pakistani authorities to hold the perpetrators accountable and to provide adequate protection for Hazara and other Shi’a Muslims who face such grave risks because of their faith.”
Every year since 2002, USCIRF has recommended that the U.S. Department of State designate Pakistan a "country of particular concern" (CPC) for "ongoing, systematic, egregious" violations of religious freedom. In December 2018, the State Department designated Pakistan as a CPC.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze and report on threats to religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or Kellie Boyle at email@example.com or +1-703-898-6554.