Aid groups asked to leave
PAKISTAN is kicking out 18 international charities after rejecting their final appeal to stay in the country, a move that an aid group spokesperson said yesterday would affect millions of desperately poor Pakistanis and lead to tens of millions of aid dollars lost.
The majority of the shuttered aid groups are US-based, while the rest are from Britain and the EU, according to a government list. Another 20 groups are at risk of also being expelled after authorities a few months ago singled out some 38 international aid groups for closure, without any explanation.
The development is the latest in a systematic crackdown on international organisations in Pakistan, with authorities using every bureaucratic excuse to target the organisations.
There is also a perception in Islamabad that the US and European countries have secretly brought spies into Pakistan under the guise of aid workers.
Yesterday Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said on Twitter that the 18 groups which had been asked to leave had spread disinformation. | AP