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March 16, 2016

Interior ministry allows 25 INGOs to operate in Pakistan

Top Story

March 16, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday permitted 25 international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) to operate in Pakistan.

The decision was taken in a high-level meeting at the Ministry of Interior with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the chair. The decision was announced by the minister in the meeting.

Secretary interior, special secretary interior, national coordinator National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), inspector general of police (IGP) Islamabad, chairman National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) chief commissioner and deputy commissioner, project director Safe City Project and senior officials of the ministry attended the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, the interior minister directed to further expedite the process of registration in consultation with all the stakeholders and said the new policy was aimed at facilitating INGOs and regulate their affairs, thus making the entire system more transparent and work-friendly on one hand and to build a strong partnership of governmental and non-governmental sectors in all areas of development, on the other.

Quoting a letter from Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) wherein the INGOs' representative body appreciated the interior minister and the ministry for its support and commitment to make new system a success story, Nisar observed that it was encouraging to see response of non-governmental bodies towards efforts aimed at regulating the system. He said the Interior Ministry was ready to assist provinces in putting in place similar mechanism for registration of NGOs and thus regulating their affairs.

The INGOs, which have been cleared by the Interior Ministry, include Kokyo Naki Kodomotachi (KnK) Japan, Operational Centre Brussels, Belgium, Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind (Sight Savers) United Kingdom (UK), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) France, Qatar Charity, Qatar, Jhpiego Corporation, United States, Oxfam Great Britain UK, Helpage International, UK, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Holland, Care International USA, Secours Islamique France, Association for Aid and Relief Japan, JEN (Japan Emergency NGOs) Japan, International Medical Corps (IMC) USA, Saudi Relief Committee for Afghanistan (SRCA) KSA, Relief International USA, World Learning Inc. USA, Sakura Wheelchair Project, Japan, Action Against Hunger USA, Midland Doctors Association UK, Terre des homes Foundation, Switzerland, The Fred Hollows Foundation Australia, Health Care 4 All International UK, Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Relief Campaign for Pakistan KSA and American Refugee Committee International, USA.

The meeting also reviewed progress on Safe City Project and the minister was apprised that the project had passed its test phase and was ready to be formally inaugurated. It was informed that the integration of security as well as traffic management system of the federal capital in Safe City Project would not only complement efforts of law enforcing agencies (LEAs) in prevention, detection and crime control but would also render huge help in resource optimisation, especially the human resources.

The minister was informed that successful execution of the project and its effectiveness vis-a-vis curbing crime and traffic management would enable this model to be replicated in all major cities of the country. The Safe City Project director also gave a detailed briefing on overall performance, including areas under surveillance, various features of the project and future prospects. The minister accepted invitation to inaugurate the project in April.

On issue of shifting of offices from residential areas, the minister directed the IGP to immediately shift their offices from residential areas in light of the directives of the Supreme Court. "We respect observations of superior judiciary and the Supreme Court's decision will be implemented in letter and spirit, however, it is not befitting stature of judges to raise profile of international organisations by naming them in their statements out of context," he said.

The meeting also reviewed progress on new technology-based initiatives being put in place by the ICT Police to improve policing, curbing crime and promoting greater liaison between the police and public, thus making it a truly professional, responsive, people-friendly and premier police force.

Discussing private security companies, the minister directed to revoke licences of private security companies, which had not submitted their particulars and details to the ICT administration. 

On household survey in the ICT, Chaudhry Nisar was briefed that only 303 houses located in posh areas and inhabited by foreigners had not yet shared their particulars with the police. It was decided to block entrances and exits of these houses from today (Wednesday). The meeting was told that earlier two legal notices were served to these houses and last date for submission of particulars was March 15.

It may be recalled that in view of security concerns, the Interior Ministry since past one and a half years has been making efforts to ensure that no unregistered person resides in any house of the federal capital.