NGOs in Pakistan Await Judgment by Committee

By: Angela Rajic

Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi. Copyright Daily Times

Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi. Copyright Daily Times

Twenty foreign NGOs are under investigation in Pakistan after it was discovered that they did not receive clearance from the country's security agencies before establishing themselves in the country and performing their charitable works.

The committee in charge of the investigation is a high powered affair headed by the prime minister's Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and comprised of members of the Intelligence Bureau, ISI, the interior ministry, the Economic Affairs Division and the foreign office. The committee will evaluate the various NGOs on their credibility and the their activities.

Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar. Copyright The Express Tribune

Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar. Copyright The Express Tribune

Organizations under review include Oxfam, Save the Children International, World Vision and Mercy Corps. Pakistan has thousands of NGOs currently operating within their borders, though, according to some, only a few hundred are deemed affective. Pakistan's population is growing, and the majority of its citizens live below the poverty line, increasing the need for effective, continuing aid for the poor exponentially. This committee is purportedly an attempt to streamline the processing the screening, monitoring and transparency to improve efficiency, though critics are skeptical. Observers can only watch and wait to see what the government of Pakistan does with the foreign NGOs in their vicinity.

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