Pakistan suspends order to ban Save the Children

Islamabad, June 14 (IANS) Pakistan’s interior ministry has suspended its order to shut down Save the Children international aid organisation in the country, a media report said on Sunday.

An assistant commissioner of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, along with the local police on June 11, sealed the organisation’s country office located on Margalla Road of Islamabad after the interior ministry issued orders for stopping its operations in Pakistan saying the charity was “working against the country”, Dawn online reported.

“The competent authority has desired that action on above letter [to seal the charity] may be held in abeyance till further orders,” a confidential interior ministry statement said.

According to the authorities, the international NGO was under strict scrutiny of the country’s intelligence agencies after the killing of former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in 2011 by US Navy Seals. After bin Laden’s killing, the intelligence agencies were convinced that the aid organisation was used as a cover by the US spies hunting the Al Qaeda chief.

A senior government official said the NGO’s operations were banned on the basis of credible intelligence reports and after approval from the top levels of government.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said that no non-governmental organisation (NGO) working against the national interest will be allowed to continue its work in the country.

Khan also alleged that some NGOs were working against the national interest of Pakistan with the support of India, the US and Israel.

He added that they had been receiving intelligence reports for many years but no action was being taken. NGOs, whose numbers run into hundreds, have been operating without any code of conduct, law and agenda.


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