Thousands in guise of NGO workers worked against state: Nisar

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ch Nisar Ali Khan told the Senate on Thursday that thousands of people came here under the guise of NGOs and took part in anti-state activities. He said the NGOs working against the national interests or values would not be allowed to operate in Pakistan even if the US was behind them.

 

He said a comprehensive and transparent system was being evolved to regulate the working of international NGOs and after it, there would be no more questions being asked presently. On this particular issue, he said the prime minister had chaired a recent meeting that took some key decisions.

 

Replying to a calling attention notice by Saeed Ghani of PPP and JUI-Fazl’s Hafiz Hamdullah about the serious allegations levelled by the Ministry of Interior against Save the Children and then backtracking on them, the minister clarified that the office of the NGO Save the Children was sealed on the order of the Economic Affairs Division and it remained sealed for three weeks.

 

Ch Nisar assured the Senate that NGOs working against national interests or values of Pakistan would not be allowed to operate in the country. He said an online system was being devised clearly specifying the nature of activities, funding and spending of NGOs in Pakistan. The minister added a monitoring committee would also be formed shortly.

 

He pointed out that the Islamabad office of Save the Children was reopened after three weeks of its sealing following sorting out of the issues involved. He revealed two Africa based international NGOs were engaged in unlawful activities in Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan, enjoying the support of the US and European Union.

 

These, he noted, were supported by the United States, the European Union, India and Israel. He said Pakistan took the issue to the UN Economic and Social Council and their credentials were cancelled by a vote of 15 to five. “Had there been US pressure, we would not have gone to the UN forum,” he said.

 

The minister said in the past, about 1,000 persons came to Islamabad in the garb of NGOs and indulged in anti-Pakistan activities. Their activities continued during the tenure of the previous government as no action was taken against them.

 

“Where were the rulers and intelligence agencies at that time?” the minister wondered. The minister said the government had decided to go for The minister said the government had decided to go for registration and re-registration of NGOs, which was not given attention in the past.

 

He said that Save the Children was working in Pakistan since 1997, but it had applied for regsitration afresh after some more countries joined it and its new offices were opened without permission, which raised apprehensions.

 

The minister noted that within three months, all the related record about NGO’s profile, finances and nature of work would be available by pressing just a button. He made it clear that many NGOs were involved in really good work in Pakistan and hence all of them were not against Pakistan.

 

After the presentation of a report in the House, the interior minister said the issue of fake identity cards issued to Bengalis and those of other nationalities was being reviewed.The minister noted that some foreign nationals obtained Pakistani identity cards in collusion with concerned officials and this did not confer on them the right of citizenship.

 

To another call attention notice, the Interior Minister said that directions had been issued for no land acquisition for residential purposes in Islamabad. The call attention was moved by Attique Sheikh.The minister maintained, “We cannot allow acquisition of land of the poor for raising housing societies. However, it would take some time to clear the mess created in the past.”

 

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