LAHORE: Visitations by intelligence personnel at NGO offices in the country have become frequent over the past few months and several women working at NGOs have complained about being harassed, a press release issued by the Pakistan Civil Society Forum on Wednesday says. The press release calls this a “direct violation of the fundamental human right of freedom”. It says while restrictions could be placed on international NGOs for purposes of national security, such restrictions should not apply to local NGOs. It says such actions have created an environment of suspicion making it difficult for these organisations to operate freely. It expresses the civil society’s resolve to continue working for the betterment of the country. “The Forum affirms that measures by intelligence agencies and local administrations violating such rights will not deter activists from monitoring and highlighting human rights abuses.” The press release says NGOs are an integral part of a vibrant civil society and Pakistan’s civil society has made significant contributions to the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2015.