Over 100 INGOs registered under new rules: Nisar

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Current Affairs on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Monday that over 100 international non-governmental organisation (INGOs) had registered themselves with the government since the promulgation of a new policy dealing with their affairs. Another 10 had completed the online application process, a decision on which would be taken within a month, he said.

Talking to reporters on Monday after chairing a high-level meeting , the interior minister said that before the promulgation of the policy, only 19 INGOs working in Pakistan were registered with the government, while hundreds of others had been working unregistered for years.

He also pointed out that in provinces, NGOs were registered under 10 different laws.

The meeting decided that INGOs that failed to register by the deadline would be restrained from operating in the country and their employees’ visas would be cancelled.

Bank accounts of organisations under scrutiny; ‘paperwork’ related to them being shifted online

The minister said he wanted communication between the government and INGOs to be online, adding that doing so would make things easy for international organisations, save time and bring transparency to the whole process.

Several INGOs played an important part in the socio-economic development of the country and those organisations should be facilitated, he said.

The minister said that many organisations had even claimed they were not INGOs, but added that such tactics had been rejected and they would continue to be treated as INGOs.

Answering a question about local NGOs being funded by international organisations and INGOs, he said the bank accounts of all INGOs would now be monitored under the new arrangement.

In a high-level meeting earlier, Chaudhry Nisar had asked the development of standard operating procedures (SOP) for deportees to be expedited. The decision to formulate SOPs for deportees was taken after the interior minister announced the suspension of a re-admission agreement with European countries.

He said the SOP should correct flaws in the re-admission agreement that was signed by the PPP government and the new SOP should ensure that anyone deported was Pakistan is provided with temporary travel documents after the interior ministry verified their nationality.

The minister added that employees of Pakistan’s foreign missions who were found to be issuing such travel documents without clearance from the ministry would be held to account.

The meeting was informed that most of Pakistan’s missions abroad had the facility to issue machine-readable passport (MRP) and the exercise to provide this facility at all foreign missions would be completed by the end of this year.

The minister stressed that in view of terrorist incidents in the world and their possible repercussions, it was essential to protect the interests of overseas Pakistanis. On the other hand, strong action should be taken against human smugglers and other elements that are bringing a bad name to the country.

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