Civil society meeting: Commissioner’s threat to NGOs criticised

Published: July 8, 2011
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NGO Coordination Council decides to form committee to approach politicians.

NGO Coordination Council decides to form committee to approach politicians.

ABBOTTABAD: 

Hazara Commissioner’s threat to ban those non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that fail to submit their work plan and a no objection certificate (NOC) is harsh. This was the result of the NGO Coordination Council (NCC) meeting here on Thursday.

Comissioner Khalid Khan Umarzai had issued notices to NGOs working in different parts of the division, asking them to submit their annual work plan, information of their funding, detailed particulars of their staff and NOC for their projects to the district administration. He had warned them with termination of their licenses if they failed to submit the required documents to the district administration within two weeks.

In order to discuss the difficulties faced by NGOs, The Sungi Development Foundation arranged a meeting of NCC at its office.

The participants expressed concern over the harsh attitude of the commissioner and remarked that the NGOs were registered under The Societies Regulation Act of 1860 and The Companies Ordinance 1984.

They said after meeting all the stringent conditions of these acts and thorough investigations by the intelligence agencies, police, the District Coordination Office office and the Community Development Department, the registration certificates issued to them were as good as NOCs.

They added the Divisional Disaster Management Authority and certain foreign donors required the NOC for duplication of development projects, which were obtained and submitted to the concerned DCO. Such restrictions would only discourage the civil society, which has done so much for improving peoples’ lives, they added.

The meeting also condemned the role of local police in attempting to disrupt Sungi’s Annual Omar Asghar Khan Awami Assembly, which was attended by famous classical dancer and activist Sheema Kermani and human rights activists from different parts of the country.

The council decided to form a committee that would call upon Awami National Party President Afrasiab Khattak, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti and K-P Minister for Social Welfare and Women Development Sitara Ayaz to discuss their problems in Hazara division.

Samina Khan, Sahibzad Jawad, Malik Akbar, Qamar Hayat, Omar Javed, Zubair Anwar, Sajid Awan, Shabana Bibi, Attaullah Khan and Ejaz Sikandar attended the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2011.

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