Pakistan allows international NGOs to function for six months

Islamabad, June 16 (IANS) The Pakistan government on Tuesday decided to allow all international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) presently working in the country to continue to function for a period of six months within specified areas of operation permitted by the authorities, an official said.

A decision in this regard was taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while chairing a high-level meeting here earlier in the day to discuss issues relating to the working of INGOs in Pakistan, Dawn online reported.

Spokesman for the Prime Minister’s House Daniyal Gilani told Dawn online that it was decided that in order to streamline the functioning of INGOs in Pakistan, all INGOs will complete a fresh process of registration with the government within three months.

The meeting directed that the inter-ministerial committee headed by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi will provide the guidelines, including rules, processes and draft legislation for streamlining the work of INGOs in Pakistan in future.

The committee will also suggest a monitoring and oversight mechanism to ensure compliance with legislation and rules in the future.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar, Fatemi and other senior officers.

The decision follows the shutdown of international aid organisation Save the Children after the interior ministry issued orders for stopping its operations in Pakistan saying the charity was “working against the country”. The INGO’s Islamabad office was sealed on June 11.

However, the order was suspended on June 14.

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