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NGO welcomes restoration of visas

September 09, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Sept 9: Save the Children, an international NGO, has welcomed the government’s decision to withdraw an order revoking the visas of its six expatriate staff in Pakistan.

The organisation’s spokesman Ghulam Qadri on Sunday referred to Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s statement in this regard and said the move would provide an opportunity to continue discussions with the government to clarify any misunderstandings about its work in the country.

In a statement, Mr Qadri said there was no truth in reports linking Save the Children with the CIA or Dr Shakil Afridi, who was accused of helping the US intelligence personnel trace Osama bin Laden.

“He has never been an employee of Save the Children, nor has he worked as a consultant or contractor for Save the Children in Pakistan.”

The spokesman reiterated that his NGO had never conducted a vaccination campaign in Abbottabad or in any other part of the country nor had it provided any support to any individual or organisation to carry out any vaccination campaign.

“We have been cooperating fully with the Abbottabad Commission and the government agencies throughout their investigation and have provided all information requested to date by the commission.

“We have provided evidence to the commission that nullifies the claims made by Dr Afridi regarding his association with Save the Children.

“We are confident that the commission is fully satisfied with our cooperation. We will continue to cooperate with investigations until all doubts are cleared,” the spokesman said.