Pak's expulsion of foreign NGOs is rights' violation: Human Rights Watch

ANI | Updated: Dec 16, 2017 15:11 IST

New York City [United States], Dec 16 (ANI): Pakistan's decision to shut down at least 10 international organizations, without citing valid reasons, breaches the right to freedom of expression and association, according to the New York- based Human Rights Watch.

"The Pakistani government's closure of international organizations without allowing these decisions to be contested shows disturbing disregard for the well-being of ordinary Pakistanis who benefit from them," the statement quoted the think tank's Asia director Brad Adams, as saying.

"Placing arbitrary restrictions on international groups is likely to increase the climate of fear for domestic organizations," he added.

The affected organisations include prominent groups working on human rights, humanitarian assistance and development issues.

According to the statement, on December 14, several international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), including Open Society Foundations and ActionAid, had received letters from the federal government rejecting their applications for registration and none have been provided with reasons for the expulsion.

The "Policy for Regulation of INGOs in Pakistan," which was announced on October 1, 2015, requires all INGOs to register and obtain prior permission from the Ministry of Interior to carry out any activities in the country, and restrict their operations to specific issues and geographical areas.

The ministry is broadly empowered to cancel registrations on grounds of "involvement in any activity inconsistent with Pakistan's national interests, or contrary to Government policy"-terms that have vague meanings, the statement added.(ANI)

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