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Pakistan orders 75 suspect NGOs to pack up

ISLAMABAD, October 17 (Internews): Pakistan has ordered immediate
closure of dozens of "fake" local and foreign non-governmental
organisations (NGOs), apparently involved in Afghan welfare, and warned
many others of the same fate if they continue to involve in
"undesirable" activities.

Sources say that those warned have been given a one-month deadline,
ending early next month, to mend their ways.

Around 75 NGOs were identified by the authorities as either being 'paper
NGOs' or being involved in activities not in accordance with the
government's instructions.

These NGOs, which according to their announced mandate officially
communicated to the government of Pakistan, were engaged in welfare
activities for Afghans.

Such NGOs, including both local and foreign, are said to be in dozens
and mostly located in Peshawar, near the border with Afghanistan, and
its surrounding towns.

Their activities, the sources say, were not found convincing by the
authorities and that being mostly foreign-based and foreign-funded, have
not been complying with the instructions issued by the government.

Organisations falling in this category had been told in writing early
this month that they should comply with the government instructions in
case they desire to be allowed to work. In case of failure, they would
be asked to wrap up.

Charges of violation against them include using wireless sets without
permission while others were found involved in infighting amongst
different Afghan groups. Yet others were discovered flouting government
policy regarding the employment of staff.

The authorities have has also identified 35 NGOs based in Pakistan but
their area of operation is strictly inside Afghanistan. The authorities
do not find any justification for their existence in Pakistan so decided
that they be shifted inside Afghanistan.

However, in view of the ongoing military strikes in Afghanistan,
Pakistan has decided to defer their shifting. -Internews

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