INGOs be told of reasons for their non-registration: Senate body


ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights on Monday directed the interior ministry to inform international non-government organisations (INGO) the reasons why they could not be registered.

Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, while chairing the committee meeting at the Parliament House, said that the human rights ministry should also be included in the list of stakeholders, which dealt with the matters related to the INGOs.

The committee was told by a senior official of interior ministry that the policy framework for INGOs regulations was issued in 2015 and there was no need for its approval by the federal cabinet as instructions in this regard were issued in 2016. The committee chairman, however, asked the ministry to present the policy before the cabinet for consideration.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said that regulating the working of INGOs was a good step, but those which were denied registration should be told the reasons for the same.

The interior ministry official, while briefing the committee, said that some 27 INGOs were asked to apply for registration and 18 of them had submitted their applications, but after having several meetings they were asked to reapply for registration after six months. All the stakeholders were also taken on board, he added.

He said the INGOs were working beyond their mandate. They were asked to improve their working remaining in their mandate and then apply for registration after six months.

The official said the ministry acknowledged the importance of INGOs. No INGO had been banned and only those, which were violating their mandate, were asked for re-apply for registration, he added.

He said that the policy to regulate the INGOs was introduced in 2015 after Save the Children, an INGO, was found involved in the Abbottabad operation. The interior ministry formed a committee having the representation of all the stakeholders for the purpose, he added.

After thorough scrutiny, 72 INGOs were granted permission to continue their functioning and only 27 were asked to apply for registration, he said.

Senator Mustafa Khokhar said that suggestions of the committee should be submitted with the Supreme Court (SC) which was hearing a case relating to the INGOs.

Regarding the high fee being charged by private schools, the committee deferred the matter as cases in that regard were heard by the SC and the National Commission on Human Rights.

Parents present in the meeting appealed to the committee to take notice of the way the management of private schools harassed them for not paying a high fee.