Former senator and PPP leader Farhatullah Babar has said that the charities working as fronts for banned outfits are flourishing while the human rights groups are being targeted by the state.
In a tweet, he said that 18 INGOs including ActionAid were asked to leave the country without any reason. It was another attack on human rights, brace of more disappearances and more restrictions on free expression, he added.
18 INGOs including ActionAid asked to pack up without assigning reason. Another attack on human rights. Brace of more disappearances, more restrictions on free expression. Charities working as fronts for banned outfits flourishing. Only human rights groups targeted by state.
— Farhatullah Babar (@FarhatullahB) October 5, 2018
The Government of Pakistan had ordered 18 international aid groups to shut down operations and leave the country.
ActionAid, which focuses on education, poverty alleviation and human rights and is headquartered in Johannesburg, said it had received an expulsion notice from Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior, but a statement from the group did not say whether the ministry gave any reason for its decision.
The ActionAid statement called the move “an attack on civil society and human rights organisations”.
ActionAid along with 17 other foreign relief organisations had appealed expulsion orders issued late last year to 27 NGOs in all, mostly those working on human rights issues.
INGOs issued notices to wind up ops within 60 days include:
1- Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), US
2- Internews Network, US
3- Pathfinder International, US
4- Central Asia Education Trust, US
5- American Center for Int’l Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center), US
6- World Vision, US
7- Catholic Relief Svc (CRS), US
8- Plan International, US
9- International Relief and Development Inc, (IRD), US
10- International Alert, UK
11- Saferworld, UK
12- ActionAid, UK
13- Stitching BRAC International, Netherlands
14- Rutgers, Netherlands
15- Trocaire, Ireland
16- Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Denmark
17- Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), Switzerland
18- ISCOS, Trade Unions Institute for Development Coop, Italy
Pakistan has previously taken similar action on foreign-funded aid groups, with one shutdown notice last year accusing a group of “pursuing (an) anti-state agenda”.
In December, then government of PML-N had issued expulsion notices to 27 international aid groups, mostly those working on human rights issues.