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Report on INGOs be submitted swiftly, PM directs committee

Nisar says no restriction withdrawn against Save the Children

By our correspondents
June 16, 2015
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the establishment of a high-level inter-ministerial committee, under Special Assistant to PM (SAPM) Syed Tariq Fatemi, for reviewing the laws and regulations regarding accreditation and working conditions of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) in the country.
According to the PM House, the committee has been asked to submit its report expeditiously. The committee has been set up amid deepening controversy about the ban on Save the Children-like INGOs which are allegedly contravening their charter or working against the national interest of the host country. They are also working beyond their agreed task.
In the meantime, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has made it clear that no restriction has been withdrawn against Save the Children as its offices are still sealed. The organisation isn’t working any more in the federal capital.
Talking to a group of media persons in his Parliament House chamber on Monday evening he said that no personnel working for the INGO would get a visa as long as the scrutiny of the organisation isn’t completed.
He said that proper rules and regulations would be formed in the light of the report submitted by the Fatemi committee and it is likely that the report would be ready in a couple of weeks.Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chaired a high-level meeting in the Interior Ministry earlier in the day and suggested that three categories of NGOs should be formed.
The ‘Green’ which are working strictly in accordance to the law of the land and delivering in a befitting manner. The ‘Yellow’, which are transgressing the agenda determined by them and agreed between the government and the organisation. Such organisations would be asked to stay within their limits.
Meanwhile, the ‘Red’ category wouldn’t be permitted to work as their work is strongly opposed to the interests of Pakistan.The organisations will be provided ample opportunity to put across their point of view in case any action is taken against them.
He was of the view that no one who is associated with any government service or their immediate relatives should be allowed to work for the INGOs.The interior minister said that the formulation of rules and regulations for INGOs has already been initiated and the decision would also be taken that what ministry or agency would be responsible for overseeing their working.
Currently the Ministry of Economic Affairs is dealing with the INGOs.The clean-up process would be undertaken by the federal government and the organisations which are doing a good job would be allowed to continue the function in the country.
To a query, Chaudhry Nisar said that hundreds of INGOs were working in Pakistan currently. A monitoring mechanism would be established through proper rules and regulations and the organisations not living up to the commitment wouldn’t be permitted to work in the country. He brushed aside the impression that the NGOs are an undesirable entity.