Washington: 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. Also Read - How Gauahar Khan Agreed to Marry Zaid Darbar Over a Month of Dating - All About Their Christmas Wedding

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. Also Read - CK vs DV Dream11 Team Prediction And Tips Lanka Premier League T20: Captain, Vice-Captain, Fantasy Playing XI, Predicted XIs For Today's Colombo Kings vs Dambulla Viiking T20 Match 7 at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium 3.30 PM IST December 1 Tuesday

Such a designation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, would have automatically attracted sanctions and other punitive measures from the United States. Also Read - SC Rejects Chanda Kochhar’s Appeal Against HC Order Dismissing Her Plea Over Termination

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.

For other countries, including Burma and China, the existing restrictions like export control would continue, a federal notification said.

The Secretary of State also designated Comoros, Russia and Uzbekistan as “special watch list” countries for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom, it said.