Pakistan

Nisar warns action against anti-Pakistan NGOs a day after ‘Save the Children’ ordered to leave Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan Friday said no non-governmental organisation could be allowed to indulge in unlawful activities in the guise of charity work, ARY News reported.

Speaking to media in Islamabad, the NGOs which has been banned were working outside the chartered approved by the government of Pakistan, said the minister.

He maintained that NGOs need to respect integrity of Pakistan. Khan pointed out that some NGOs in Pakistan were working against the state.

The minister made it clear that ‘no compromise could be made on national security of Pakistan.’

Government administration officials accompanied by police arrived at the charity’s office yesterday in the heart of the capital Islamabad after working hours and placed a lock on the door and a notice saying the building had been sealed.

“We have sealed the office of Save the Children on government instructions,” Kamran Cheema, a senior government official told AFP.

Who issued orders for sealing the NGO office?

Meanwhile, Cheema, a senior government official said, “We don’t know the reasons behind this order. We were sent a three-line notification by the interior ministry saying that this office should be sealed and all the expatriate staff be sent back to their countries within 15 days,” Cheema said.

The government did not make any formal announcement but an official from the interior ministry said that the agency was involved in the “anti-Pakistan activities”.

“Their activities were being monitored since a long time. They were doing something which was against Pakistan’s interest,” said the official without giving his name because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Local police chief Hakim Khan told AFP that one of his officers was standing guard outside the charity’s office on the orders of the government but that he was “unaware of the reasons behind closing down the Save the Children office”.

No one from Save the Children’s Pakistan branch could be reached for comment.

In 2012 a Pakistan intelligence report has linked the aid group to Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi who the CIA allegedly used to carry out a fake vaccination programme as they searched for Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The charity’s expat staff were forced to leave Pakistan after the accusations emerged.

Save the Children has always denied it had any links with Afridi or the CIA.

Pakistan has since hardened its policies towards international aid groups, accusing them of being covers for spying operations and has repeatedly warned them to restrict their activities, vowing stern action for any “suspicious” activity.

‘Save The Children’ CEO was unconcerned about security threats in Pakistan in a 2012 interview

Meanwhile, in an interview with Weekly Pulse in 2013, President and Chief Executive Officer Save the Children Carolyn S. Miles had said her organisation feels no security threat in Pakistan.

Regarding alleged role of Dr. Shakeel Afridi in using the name of Save the Children for chasing the world’s most wanted person Osama Bin Laden, Carolyn said they neither had any connection with the CIA or any other intelligence agency.

Click here to read her full interview

 

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