Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) promulgated a new policy to regulate registration, working, funding, monitoring and other matters related to International Non-governmental Organizations (INGO) operating in Pakistan, with effect from 1 October 2015. The new policy requires all INGOs to register with the MoI, including those already working in Pakistan.
The registration process requires submission of these documents (among others):
The policy states that any breach of security or involvement in any activity inconsistent with Pakistan’s national interests, or contrary to government policy, will lead to cancellation of registration. INGOs are also prohibited from:
Existing INGOs must apply for re-registration under this policy by 30 November 2015, although they can continue their work until a final decision is made on the application.
With this new policy, the government is living up to its claim preceding its announcement that it will be tough. Concerns have been raised about the discretionary powers given to the security establishment to decide whether an INGO’s activities constitute a breach of security or are against the country’s national interests. As a result, the policy’s implementation in its present form remains to be seen.