Ice melts in strained Pakistan - US bilateral ties

Ice melts in strained Pakistan - US bilateral ties

WASHINGTON - United States gives sanctions waiver to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The Trump administration on Friday gave "national interest waiver" to four countries, including Pakistan, which were designated as "countries of particular concern" for having engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom.

The four countries - Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan - along with Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and Sudan were last month named as "countries of particular concern" (CPC) by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their gross violation of religious freedom.

Such a designation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, would have automatically attracted sanctions and other punitive measures from the United States.

Prominent among these include designations or sanctions against individuals and organisations responsible for suppression of freedom in these countries.

However, these sanctions and designations can be done away with a waiver as required in the "important national interest of the United States" as per section 407 of International Religious Freedom Act.

In a federal notification, Pompeo gave national interest waiver to the four countries.