Pakistan

PM Nawaz instructs INGOs to register within three months

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked all the international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) to register themselves within three months as part of a wider crackdown that has involved sealing the offices of Save the Children, ARY News reported.

PM Nawaz Sharif chaired a high level meeting regarding the INGOs here in Islamabad on Tuesday in which several decisions were taken by the premier.

The prime minister has instructed all the international non-governmental organization to complete their registration within three months. It was also decided in the meeting that all the NGOs in Pakistan can continue their work till six months and will only function in the areas designated to them by the authorities.

The monitoring procedures of the INGOs will also have to be clarified to the federal government.

A government run body headed by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Policy Tariq Fatemi will formulate the laws and rule for all NGOs in Pakistan.

Pakistan has toughened its policies towards international aid groups in recent years, accusing them of covering for spying operations.

The authorities had sealed Save the Children’s offices earlier stating that the charity was “working against the country”, and threatened to expel more foreign aid groups for supposedly undermining Pakistan.

AFP adds: In 2012 the government expelled the expatriate staff of Save the Children, which has worked in Pakistan for over 35 years and employs 1,200 Pakistanis.

That move came after Pakistani intelligence services accused the charity of links to doctor Shakeel Afridi, whom the CIA allegedly used to carry out a fake vaccination programme as they searched for Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

Save the Children has always vehemently denied any link to either Afridi or the CIA.

The United States on Friday warned Pakistan it was only hurting itself by its actions against aid groups.

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