ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The international aid organisation ‘Save the Children’ Islamabad Office has been reopened on Wednesday after the interior ministry conditionally allowed it to work for six months.
The sources in the interior ministry said that 13 out 73 offices of ‘Save the Children’ have been allowed to operate in the country except the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and other sensitive areas.
They said that as per the direction of the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, all local and foreign non-governmental organization (NGOs) operating in Pakistan including the ‘Save the Children’ will have to register or re-register within six months and those not doing so or refused registration will have to leave the country.
On June 11, ‘Save the Children’ operations in Pakistan were halted and its Islamabad office was sealed for its alleged involvement in anti-state activities. However, just a day after the interior ministry suspended its own orders to shut down the NGO.
The International donors and the US Department of State had expressed concern over the closure of the ‘Save the Children’ in Pakistan.
“It’s certainly a matter of concern to us. Save the Children is an international nongovernment organization. They do important work,” the Director Press Office Jeff Rathke told newsmen in Washington on June 12.
Last Monday, the interior minister while talking to media in Islamabad said that registration, monitoring and security clearance of all NGOs would now be done by the interior ministry.
The minister said that the registration of NGOs would be now online in a transparent manner. He said that there would be a transparent accountability system detailing sources of funding and objectives of the NGO.
‘Save the Children’ was in the past also accused of being linked with the US spy agency CIA in the search of former Al-Qaeda Chief Osama Bin Laden. However, the NGO denies such accusations.