Welfare Organizations: The Modern Day Shroud for Immorality

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In this bizarre era where a genocide goes uncared for, where hell is unleashed on a country on a slight possibility of a future attack, inter-communal riots have plagued whole countries  and where children in a school are shamelessly murdered then using the cover of welfare organizations for terrorism, corruption and violence is not very appalling. Hypocrisy and bigotry prevails everywhere. This is not only a blot on humanity but on all of mankind.

On 11th June 2015, a US based NGO “Save the Children” was ordered to pack up and leave Pakistan for working against the country. This NGO had been working in Pakistan for over 30 years with around 73 offices in the country. The intelligence agency of Pakistan gathered some information according to which this organization was damagingPakistan’s interests. Back in 2012, save the Children was also accused of carrying out illegal activities in the country but somehow managed to continue their work in the country.

Similarly on Wednesday 14th January 2015, IMMAP (Information Management and Mine Action Program), a Washington based US NGO was banned and its Islamabad office was sealed by the Ministry of Interior for its involvement in illegal activities. The NGO had started its operations in Islamabad after the 8th October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and was involved in the work of digital mapping.

Last year in November, Sindh police raided IMMAP’s Karachi office and sealed it on the directives of the Sindh government. Apart from few arrests, some equipment like laptops, cameras etc was also confiscated.  Digital maps of sensitive installations of Karachi including PAF air base and nuclear power plant was found from its office.

In their e-book, “The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army” , DB Grady and Marc Ambinder have explained that how  thePentagon used an NGO in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake to send operatives from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to Pakistan. They have written that the US intelligence community “took advantage of the chaos to spread resources of its own” into Pakistan. “Using valid US passports and posing as construction and aid workers, dozens of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives and contractors flooded in without the requisite background checks from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency.”

Nisar Ali Khan, while addressing the National Assembly revealed that “Around 1,000 intelligence operators visited the country and got visas in the name of international aid groups in the previous government’s rule. All these operators were working with hostile intelligence agencies.”Moreover, forty percent of NGOs in Pakistan are unregistered.

After these astonishing findings, proper database will be formed of all INGOs with the help of National Database Registration Authority (NADRA). The Ministry of Interior which is responsible only for the security clearance will also nowmonitor their activities. According to a report, some sensitive areas of FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan will be inaccessible by the NGOs. More than 20 NGOs were found suspicious. Their fate will be decided by the ministry. National Democratic Institute, Save The Children International, Save The Children USA, Partner Aid International, Catholic Relief Services, Oxfam GB, International Alert, Norwegian Refugee Council, Creative Associates, Danish Refugee Council, International Foundation of Electoral Systems, Johan niter International Assistance, Inter News, Central Asian Institute, Mercy Corps and World Vision are among them.

Shakeel Afridi, a mediocre doctor of Khyber Agency (FATA) became a famous personality and a hero in United States of America after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. He achieved this remarkable feat by assisting CIA (US’s intelligence agency) for tracking Bin Laden. He ran a fake polio campaign in Bilal Town, Abbottabad from March 15-18 and April 21-23, 2011 to get DNA samples of the residents living in the compound which was Osama’s hideout.  According to Brig Shaukat Qadir, a retired army brigadier and former vice president of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Afridi initially was unaware of who the prime target of US’s investigation was. He communicated with an officer by the name of “Peter” who acted as a CIA’s representative. However, towards the end of April 2011 Afridi became suspicious and figured out that US was after a high-value target in that area.He also told that he was approached through Save the Children NGO.

He was arrested after 3-4 weeks of Osama’s compound raid from Hayatabad, Peshawar on the charges of treason. He has been sentenced to 33 years in imprisonment for conspiring against the state. Since then, the people of Khyber Pakhtoon Khuwa (KPK) have lost faith in the polio campaigns run by the government and are reluctant to give polio drops to their children. Numerous terrorism attacks have been carried out on polio workers which have resulted in multiple deaths of the workers. Just because of this, KPK still remains the highly polio affected region in Pakistan.

Not only international welfare organizations are harming the country but local ones are also being used to commit crimes like violence and extortion. According to an article, MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement), through its welfare trust “Khidmat e Khalq Foundation (KKLF) ” has established an organized mechanism for collecting extortion money. People are asked to give extortion money by sending donation to KKF. A shop owner of a cosmetic shop told that MQM has also constituted committees in the market places for mediation between shopkeepers, or interaction with law-enforcement officials and other institutions involved in public utility services.There is a labour wing of this Trust in Korangi and SITE which acts as a cover for this heinous crime. Same is the case with ANP’s (Awami National Party) Bacha Khan Welfare Trust. Begum Naseem Wali Khan alleged that Asfandyar Wali Khan took money from India which reached him through this trust.

In this age of advancement, crime is also progressing. Felony is being committed in the most creative and unimaginable ways. It is so ironical that one takes the help of a humanitarian institute to break the law.No one can be trusted in this era. Now it’s mandatory for a state to keep an eye on all institutes working under its jurisdiction.

 

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Zahabia is an aspiring journalist pursuing a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi. She tweets @zkmotorwala and can be reached at zahabiakhuzema@gmail.com

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