US expresses concern over crackdown on global NGOs in Pak

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 13, 2015 00:26 IST

The United States on Friday expressed concern over Pakistan Government's crackdown on international charitable organisations and appealed it to standardise and streamline a transparent process that will allow global NGOs to work legally in the country.

"We are concerned about Pakistan's crackdown on international charitable organisations and other NGOs," the State Department Spokesperson, John Kirby, said referring to Pakistan government's direction to international children's aid agency 'Save the Children' to shut down its operations in the country.

"Save the Children has worked in Pakistan for more than 35 years, carrying out programmes in health, education, and food security that reach more than four million children and their families," he said.

Kirby said the US shares Pakistan's goal of promoting a secure, economically vibrant, democratic Pakistan and much of the US support for that goal involves channelling financial support through international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), which work as America's implementing partners in a variety of sectors.

"Recently, several of these partners have reported increasing difficulty doing business in Pakistan. This has had a significant negative impact on international partner efforts to support Government of Pakistan priorities," he added.

Noting that Pakistan's international development partners respect the Government's need for full transparency from international NGOs involving their activities within the country, Kirby said the US also agree that INGOs must operate within a relevant legal and regulatory framework.

"For that reason, we urge the Government of Pakistan to standardise and streamline a transparent process that will allow INGOs, including Save the Children, to work legally in Pakistan," he said.

"INGOs are an important part of the international development community's effort to support the Government of Pakistan in facilitating effective and meaningful development, governance, and humanitarian assistance to benefit the people
of Pakistan," Kirby said.

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