Washington: The US on Tuesday called the arrest of a young Pakistani girl on blasphemy charges "deeply disturbing" and praised President Asif Ali Zardari for coming out against it.

"This case is obviously deeply disturbing, the arrest of a young Pakistani girl on blasphemy charges," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference.

"President Zardari, to his credit, went out very quickly. So conceivably, we've been welcoming of that move in Islamabad, as well," Nuland said appreciative of the move of the Pak president.

"Zardari has now asked the Interior Ministry to look into the arrest and has underscored that vulnerable populations have to be protected from misuse of the blasphemy law," she said.

"We would call on the Pakistanis to have that investigation in a transparent way. And we think that the president's statement is very welcome, and we urge the government of Pakistan to protect not just its religious minority citizens but also women and girls," Nuland said.


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