ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said that no Non-Government Organisation (NGO) working against the country's national interest will be allowed to continue its work in Pakistan.
He said that some NGOs were performing out of their respective domains and they should be probed. "We formulated a plan last year to regulate the functioning of NGOs in the country."
The statement comes a day after authorities ordered the international aid group Save the Children to leave Pakistan saying the charity was “working against the country”.
The interior minister 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, he said.
"We don’t want to put ban on any NGO but we want to compel them to work under their charter,” Khan said.
The interior minister also appealed to all international NGOs and governments to respect the laws of Pakistan.
He said that the government will not bear any kind of foreign pressure regarding the working criteria of the NGOs.
Nisar said two NGOs registered in Zambia and Guinea respectively which were operating in Pakistan without any permit and reporting stories from Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan which were based on lies.
He said when the matter was contested in the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), all but three of the 15 member countries had supported Pakistan’s stance. The interior minister named the United States, Israel and India as countries supporting the illegal activities of NGOs in Pakistan.
“I will highlight the issues of illegal NGOs in the parliament as the government cannot compromise on national interest,” he added.
The interior minister said that the government will welcome NGOs working according to plan by following the law of the land while the government will also facilitate the NGOs working according to their charter.
Khan also said that the implementation on capital punishment is in accordance with the law while criticism against judiciary will not be tolerated in this regard.
Addressing journalists in the federal capital city the interior minister said that many NGOs are doing a good job and all of them cannot be clubbed in the same category.
"We will support those NGOs who are doing a good job. But we cannot allow anti-state NGOs to operate under the umbrella of the good-performing NGOs."
It is pertinent to mention that earlier in September 2012 the foreign staff of the Save the Children had been ordered to leave the country in the wake of accusations linking the aid agency to a fake vaccination programme used in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
The move had come after an intelligence report linked the aid agency to Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi who the CIA allegedly used to carry out a fake vaccination programme as they searched for the Al Qaeda chief who was later killed in a May 2011 raid in Abbottabad.
— An earlier version of the story had wrongly mentioned the month of the OBL raid in Abbottabad as April 2011. The error is regretted.