PCSF expresses concern over ban on INGOs

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Civil Society Forum (PCSF) on Tuesday expressed concern over the banning of more than 20 international non-government organisations (INGOs) working in Pakistan during the last week.

In a press statement, the PCSF pointed out that this decision will directly affect the development of the country, as all the banned INGOs have been working on pressing social issues such as women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation and extending health and education to the masses – areas where the government has itself failed to deliver.

The PCSF said that the decision to ban these INGOs will project Pakistan’s name in a bad light in the international community, which can damage the relationships of bilateral organisations and seriously undermine inflow of foreign funds.

The United Nations (UN) Committee on Freedom of Speech and Assembly has already urged the Pakistani government to provide an enabling environment to let the INGOs work for the development of the country

The forum further expressed concern that the banning of these INGOs will further alienate the already sidelined masses, as it will further shrink the operating space for local NGOs.

It further urged the government to prove at an appropriate forum if there is any serious complaint against these organisations.