US expresses concerns over closure of Save the Children in Pakistan

Urges government to standardise a process to allow INGOs to work legally in the country

Web Desk June 12, 2015
A policeman stands guard outside the office of the international charity ‘Save the Children’ sealed by order of authorities in Islamabad on June 11, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

US government on Friday expressed its concerns over Pakistani authorities sealing shut international non-governmental organisation (INGO) Save the Children's office in Islamabad, and urged Islamabad to standardise a transparent process for allowing aid group to work legally in Pakistan.

According to a statement from the US Department of State late on Friday, US asked Pakistan to streamline a transparent process to allow smooth functioning of INGOs working in the country.

The statement came a day after authorities in federal capital sealed the Islamabad offices of Save the Children, and told its expatriate staff to leave the country within 15 days.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s concerns regarding the transparency of activities of INGOs, including Save the Children, the State Department said it shares Islamabad's goal of promoting a secure, economically vibrant, democratic Pakistan.

While agreeing that INGOs must operate within the relevant legal and regulatory framework, it remined Islamabad that US support to Pakistan involves channeling financial support through INGOs such as Save the Children. It added that many of these INGOs had reported experiencing difficulties while operating in the country in recent times.

Emphasising on the importance of INGOs, the statement added that INGOs are important part of the international development community's effort to support the Pakistani government in facilitating effective and meaningful development.

Read: Save the Children office sealed in Islamabad

Earlier on Friday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan accused some NGOs in Pakistan of being backed by the United States, Israel and India.

“Their activities were being monitored for a long time. They were doing something which was against Pakistan’s interest,” said the official without giving his name because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Nisar said that there are several NGOs operating in Pakistan without any specific agenda. He alleged that most of them were taking part in “anti-Pakistan” activities.

In the notice served to Save the Children, it said that the INGO was involved in "anti-Pakistan activities."


Ozair | 9 years ago | Reply US is not concerned abt Pak nuclear energy needs. Its only concerned abt our children. Funny. Us supports India in Nukes. Save the children's ban stings Us. Us, Israel India are against Pak interests.
Sohail | 9 years ago | Reply If Ch. Nisar is not personally benefitted, then it should be shut down.
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