Pakistan Civil Society upset over ban on INGOs, asks government for mutual dialogue

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Islamabad (ENN) Pakistan’s Leading Civil Society representatives have demanded government to immediately review its policies and reverse recent decision and ensure an environment of mutual trust and respect by inviting all stake holders at relevant forums instead of taking decision in isolation.

This was demanded during a press conference held here on Wednesday in National Press Club Islamabad, where veteran civil society leader I. A Rehman, Mohammad Tehsin, convener of Pakistan Civil Society Forum (PCSF) and the head of South Asia partnership Pakistan (SAP-Pk), Naeem Mirza of Aurat Foundation, Hina  Jilani of AGHS, PPP senator Farhatullah Khan Babar, ANP’s Afrasyab Khattak, Dr Abdul Qayoom Sulehri of SDPI and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists president Afzal Butt were part of the press conference.

They raised deep concerns on attempts of curbing voices of civil society actors’ mainly International Non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and National NGOs working on Human Rights, Democracy and social justice and recent attempts of banning INGOs was part of it.

They observed that such policies will deeply undermine the trust even further and will take the real discourse away from the actual issues the country and its citizens are facing.

“The situation demands that the government and the civil society must find solution through dialogue and consultation and, avoid such arbitrary policy decisions” they further added.

Speakers advised government that before taking such decisions and adopting policies the civil society representatives including media, lawyers, human rights and labor organizations should be taken into confidence.

Recently government of Pakistan has disallowed over 23 International Non-governmental organizations and asked them to wind up their operations within 60 days.

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